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    Slow Food

    August 21, 2018 Pastor Carey
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    Pr. Carey

    Have you ever listened, really listened? 

    To the sounds of the busy world; 

    people walking, people talking, horns blowing,

     factories going, rushing, rushing, faster, faster.

     

    Have you ever listened, really listened?

    To leaves talking, as the wind whispers through the trees, 

    to rain falling against a tin roof, or against a window, or upon the dry earth.

     

    Have you ever listened, really listened? 

    To a brook in the meadow, to a cricket in the night, 

    to a bird singing in the dawn of a summer day, to a baby crying, a breeze sighing. 

     

    Have you ever listened, really listened, to the voice of God?

    (Author Unknown)

     

    This poem I find to be grounding. It speaks of places where the divine is encountered.  Not absent in the noise and energetic pace of life but ever present in the hushed places of creation easily missed amidst all of the noise that surrounds. Found, in those God moments that aren’t instantly perceptible. That take time and some fine tuning of our senses to notice, appreciate and to abide in. 

     

    The poet contends that the way God communicates and meets us on this journey is sometimes subtle, slow and waited upon.  You must be present to listen and abide with the living God. Not caught up and swept away in the noise of worries, wants and fears.

     

    Have you ever listened to God, really listened, to the voice of God? The poet writes.

     

    God’s Slow Food

    Listening to anyone or anything takes time. Good listening is not rushed. It takes time to hear, reflect, and digest just like a good meal. Years ago a trip to Poland gave me a taste of slow food. In the old market square was a delicious family owned Pierogi restaurant in business for years. Everything was made from scratch. The owners refrain was, We don’t do fast food. We only do slow food. The place was set at a slower pace yet packed.  People were willing to give up a good chunk of this precious commodity we call time for this taste of a moment of slow food. 

     

    What I came away with was this: Slow food is like abiding. In the waiting we have time to notice, to listen. We take the time to be present in the moment, to remain and dwell. Allowing us to relax into the life that is enfolding and embodied before our eyes. Some things cannot be rushed. Time is needed to simmer, stew, rise and become fully present in the moment that is now. And in this abiding there is life. That’s why, abiding with the living God is something like slow food. 

     

    This is probably why on occasion I enjoy making communion bread. There is something about starting from scratch. Knowing the source. Gathering the ingredients, measuring, mixing, and having warm bread come out of the oven that very morning. It’s a moment of abiding. Or planting a seed and watching the process of growth. That too is like abiding in life.

     

    In John’s Gospel, Jesus identifies himself as the bread of life. Living bread from heaven given for the life of the world. Bread that gives life for eternity - forever. Transforming us into the resurrected people God intends us to be in the world.  Forgiven. Renewed. Hope-filled. Joy-kissed. God’s grace is experienced in this abiding. Surging through us and shaping us into God’s people.

     

    We come to the table for a foretaste of the feast to come. When people gather at the table, God’s love for the diversity of creation is embodied. We are bound together as one people and we’re better for it. For this is why the living bread is given. The living bread that came down from heaven for the life of the world. Eat this bread and you will live. It’s slow food and a moment of abiding in and with the living God.

     

    There are so many ways people come to the Lord’s Table. Some skip up with joy and want more, others with tears, some making eye contact, others in prayer. Hands outstretched, penitent and joyful, eyes averted or greeting, rich, poor, all shapes, all political stripes. From a one year old to the 100 year old we come to the table for a taste of life.

     

    We come as we are. And God says, this is good. Welcome my beloved and cherished children. Take this bread. Eat of the life I have given for you and for all people. Be fed, nourished and led in my way. May this way of abundant life be yours. Eternal food that will keep you as you go back into the world. Abide with me, as I abide with you.  

    In this moment of slow food God promises that we will be a people of new life, intended to live fully and help others to live fully. Our spirit is fed and sent forth back into a world in need. 

    In a world where nearly 800 million people experience hunger everyday, for reasons due to poverty, underdeveloped agriculture, health, weather, war, market instability, and waste. (Bread for the World).  Feeding our spirit helps to reflect on this enormous problem. When there is more than enough to go around. To feed all.  And yet, people go hungry. The complexities of a world without hunger seem beyond our grasp or perhaps beyond the grasp of greed. 

    The world hungers spiritually and physically for that which gives life and doesn’t perish. In feeding the hungers of the world (both physical, spiritual) we are filled.

    As we go about our daily lives - work, play, school, vacation, …we are reminded that because of Jesus our living bread, life surges through our bodies calling us to be bread/to be food for the hungry. We are sent back out into the world with God’s very life surging within us. Go -share this life with the world we are encouraged. It is a life about love found in abiding relationship. 

      

    Conclusion

    Have you ever listened, really listened?

    Here in this place ….

    To the splashing crashing waters of baptism, the bread broken, the wine poured, 

    the words sung, the moments of silence, the creaks, sighs, giggles, and the voices of fellowship.

     

    Have you ever listened, really listened, to the voice of God?

    I know…you have.

     

    What we hear is this: 

    In the listening we call abiding, we are drawn into all that is living, breathing and giving life in us and around us. And we take notice of all that is yearning for life with God. We are promised, come as you are. Abide with me. Jesus the bread of life, your slow food, your daily bread. 

     

     

    The peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding 

    keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

    Amen

     

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