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The Sacred Meal?

I was excited about this new book entitled The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher because the Lord's Supper is such an integral in the service of worship. Having read through the book, I was rather disappointed in the material presented. First, there was an overwhelming amount of writing about how the people around the church and herself's thinking and feeling while taking communion, before and after. I can understand how the Lord's Supper is a sacrament for the whole body of Christ and no one should be left out, but why the ramblings on our feelings waiting in line. Secondly, I found little to none interatction with the historical record of have Christians have viewed the Supper and little Biblical background of the Lord's Supper (some interaction connecting the Passover would have been one of the connections). Yet, I did find a few things that were worth mentioning in a postive manner.

One, Gallagher indicates that the Eucharist 'is a way of saying thanks' (78) which is what the word in Greek means (thanksgiving). In saying this, the Supper is not designed to dwell on the morose and somber things completely devoid of the idea of celebration and thanksgiving. Secondly, Gallagher relates that her view of the Eucharist was radically affected by the work she did in a soup kitchen (112). She realized the abundance of food that we have and the desire to sit with the outcast of society and serve them. Serving others who are in a bad state causes us to reflect on the way Jesus lived among people, dining with all folks and offering them himself to them as a way out. The Eucharist reminds us that we depend upon the bread and wine (or liquid) for our very lives existence. In turn, the blessing of the nourishment is to lead us to bless others.

Overall, I thought the book was not too well thought out and too few connections were made with the Scriputres. For practical examples of how the what the Eucharist means to daily living there are many. I hope this book is able to encourage others in some form.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy.


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