The pastor cups bread in his hands when he tells us this: A single loaf of bread contains 23,810 tiny grains of wheat. And those grains of wheat come from 63 million acres in the U.S. each year.
“I wonder, if any of those grains of wheat feel insignificant,” he asks.
Would anyone notice if the loaf contained only 23,809 grains of wheat?
Then he tears the golden loaf in half, and holds them high. He speaks words that Jesus spoke: “This is my body, which is given for you.”
Beggar hearts receive torn loaves. The pastor sends 23,810 grains of wheat into a room of hungry souls. I don’t know much, but I do know this: the body of Christ is the only thing that will ever satisfy the hunger of the world.
I’m among the terminally ill — always one step closer to the end — and I know I will starve without this.
I rip deep into the loaf, and partake. Jesus is more than a lofty idea, a nice story, a fine philosopher, a good teacher. He is Body, who reaches down and touches me. I taste forgiveness, God-Incarnate.
I swallow hundreds of grains of wheat; and I need every grain I can get. Every grain is significant. Every part of every loaf — every part of everybody — matters.
The bread matters because of Christ.
I matter, for the same reason.
And friend, so do you …
“Because there is one loaf, we, who are many,
are one body,
for we all partake of the one loaf.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:17
“Everyone has a unique role to fill in the world and is important in some respect. Everyone, including and especially you, is indispensable.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne