Monday, March 15th
As with many of us—especially in the South—food is often my “love language”.
I take a meal to a friend who is experiencing a hard time. I make a child’s favorite meal when they come home from college or camp. I teach a grandchild to fix a simple meal or bake cookies. When I want to know someone better, I invite them to dinner. An acquaintance becomes a friend over coffee at Cafe Louisa. I share confidences with a close friend over cocktails and cheese on my front porch.
Sharing a meal is a tangible expression of hospitality. It is a sign of inclusion and acceptance. The act of being gladly received and welcomed into the group. When a good host creates this environment, ideas can be safely shared and received, enabling friendships to be forged and barriers torn down. I believe that it is not coincidental that shared food is at the heart of some of Jesus’ most important messages—-the marriage at Cana, this passage on the loaves and the fishes and, perhaps most importantly, The Last Supper.
In 1983 there was a terrible shooting of an unarmed black man by a Montgomery policeman on Todd Road in North Montgomery. This atrocity was further exacerbated by the planting of a gun on the victim and the support of a number of high officials in our city for the cover-up. The repercussions of this action created great distrust, anger and conflict throughout Montgomery, threatening violence and long-lasting civic downfall.
A group of anonymous, every-day citizens sought a path to healing and formed The Friendly Supper Club for the sole purpose of bringing black and white together over a meal to share open communication and promote understanding and healing. Meeting once a month at a local cafeteria, there was no agenda, no speaker, no by-laws. Anyone who was interested in helping bridge the gap between the races was welcome. The only “price of admission” was that you must bring a guest of another race. The first meeting had more than 200 people attend, and The Friendly Supper Club continued to meet regularly until COVID recently ended their in-person gatherings.
From The Friendly Supper Club have grown such wonderful organizations as Leadership Montgomery (of which our own Mike Jenkins was a founder), One Montgomery and many others less well known, but each teaching and healing and making an impact on the lives they touch.
Truly our baskets are being refilled every day with the spiritual food to follow Jesus’ message by sharing our gifts with the world around us. Webster’s Dictionary defines “host” as “a wafer of bread used in the Eucharist”. Among his last earthly directions, our prayer book says, “Our Savior Christ…instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood as a sign of his love” “be nourished by that spiritual Food.”
This is Christ’s love language.
What is yours?
Your baskets will never be empty.