Why Hamburgers Won’t Taste the Same Anymore

October 16, 2009 | 28 comments

They were filing into pews when someone realized what we’d forgotten: communion bread and grape juice.

We had come to this Iowa sanctuary on a Saturday morning to take communion. This was how we would prepare ourselves — through His body and blood — before beginning a day of planning and praying for an upcoming spiritual retreat.

There were 60 of us in the room, maybe more — but none of us had remembered to buy an oval loaf or the crimson-colored juice. Could we even have Holy Communion then?

But What do I know of Holy? What do I really know?

What do I know of the ways that Holy God can reach down to Grace-Hungry Us in the most ordinary, white-bread ways?

***

Someone ran to the kitchen, pulled a basket from the shelves and filled it with hamburger buns. Someone else found leftover white-grape juice in the refrigerator, and poured it into a water pitcher.

They placed this humble, ordinary meal on the altar, and they counted on God to to reach down to us in an extra-ordinary way.

The music began, and we lined up, one by one ripping chunks off of a hamburger bun and dipping it into leftover juice.

And then, it was my turn to receive and remember. And fresh tears stung my eyes at this extraordinary moment in which God would stoop to meet me.

“The body of Christ, broken for you, Jennifer,” he said to me as I tore a chunk from the ordinary-made-extraordinary.

“The blood of Christ, shed for you,” he said, as I dipped and remembered how I’m just an ordinary leftover, too, set apart as holy.

And it buckles my knees every time … Holy God having anything at all to do with wretched me.

***

God has a habit of showing Himself extra-ordinary through the ordinary things of life.

Bread is body.
Wine is blood.
Water is life.
Word is breath.

He didn’t send His son to Earth in a palace,
but in a manger.

He didn’t give His Son an earthly crown,
but an eternal one.

The Savior of the world,
died the death of a criminal.

And even today, He uses simple, broken vessels
to carry His Spirit.

And He uses leftovers
to pour out His grace.

This is the
beautiful irony of our faith: God takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary, setting it apart as Holy for His glory. Which means He also takes ordinary me — and He takes ordinary you — and He sets us apart as Holy to be used for His glory.

And to think I’d been looking for him in the polished chalice, at the decorated altar, under the pristine steeple, in the perfect prayer.

He’s been under my nose the whole time.

What do I know of Holy? What do I really know?

What Do I Know of Holy? by Addison Road.

***

Lord, I sit here again, in awe of your Holiness. I make you so small, don’t I, Lord? I limit you to the lofty places and the extraordinary people, when your voice thunders “HOLY” into my ordinary life, living inside ordinary me. What do I know of You, Lord? I can barely fathom. I can only drop again to my knees, and shake my head, and whisper my thanks through this lump in my throat. Thank you, Lord. …. Amen.

by | October 16, 2009 | 28 comments

28 Comments

  1. Anne L.B.

    What a perfect celebration of the Lord's Table: holiness and unity transcending unplanned imperfection. I love Him! (you too :D)

    Reply
  2. Minister Mamie L. Pack

    Jennifer,

    Again, you truly have a gift for words to take what may seem simple to use it in a wonderful way to spread the Word and Love of Christ. I too am so thankful that He took an ordinary, broken me to be used for His glory. Thank God for His blood.

    with blessings,

    Minister Mamie

    Reply
  3. RCUBEs

    This is so profound….we are always speechless and in awe in His presence…That's what made me feel now…speechless…awed! By His grace…

    Reply
  4. Bina

    The miracle of His holy grace is the beauty that we can find within broken, wretched and fallen vessels covered in skin…that He allows His unfathomable beauty to shine out from those who have simply called on His name…that He allows His truth to cover our shame, much as He used skin to cover Adam and Eve's shame and can give us a life that is fallen, but oh so wonderful, in the light of His amazing grace.
    You, my beautiful friend, are a light that shines in the dark…calling out a direct reminder to KEEP looking up…as always.
    My heart is full for you…and for the Lord that makes you what you are.
    Hugs to you…and blessings on your weekend!
    Bina

    Reply
  5. Angie Vik

    At our church in Iowa, Keith spaced out getting bread for communion. We're having communion in church and he goes to break the bread and sees there isn't any. He asked the pianist to play and dashed down to the kitchen and found saltine crackers.

    He used it as a great object lesson that the coummunion elements are symbols and there are people all over the world who use different elements but they all represent Christ's work on the cross for our behalf.

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

    Reply
  6. Runner Mom

    Beautiful! I love this song by Addison Road. It fills me and makes me realize how little I know about my God! Thank you, sweet friend!

    Hugs!
    Susan

    Reply
  7. Shirley

    Wow

    Reply
  8. Miriam

    Reminds me of the time I was in a church which was extra-full that day, ran out of "elements" about 1/2 way back. One of the elders ran home, and grabbed a pitcher of grape kool-ade, watered it down a bit more, and someone else ran to the nursery for graham crackers. So half the church had the "officially mandated" feast, the other half had watered-down kool-ade and graham crackers, but ALL had the feast of the Lord and learned the grace within it.

    Reply
  9. jasonS

    I love this. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Rosario

    I love this song. I been wanting to add it to my blog. I love your post too. Thanks for reminding me that God can turn little ordinary me, into an awesome person, passionate for him and all his works. What seems impossible for me is Possible for HIM.

    Reply
  11. christy rose

    Jennifer,
    I was blessed reading your post today. God has been showing me lately that it is only as I look to Him, commune with Him, partake of His presence, and experience the deeper, fuller measure of Who He Is that I will truly come to "know" Him and therefore trust and believe Him. We wonder sometimes why it seems that we just can't really seem to have faith and trust Him and I believe that God is showing us that we can't trust Him because we do not "know" Him. Yah, we can say all the right things and mentally understand the aspects of God, but we only truly have faith when we "know" Him as a result of experiencing Life with Him as He reveals Himself to us and in us. When we quit trying to figure Him out on our own and lean and depend on Him to reveal Himself to us, He will open our eyes and help us to see what we could never see without partaking of that experience with Him. That is when we will "know" Him and trusting Him becomes easy. It is easy to have faith in the one that you have experienced life with and know what to expect from them because you were a part of the experiences that helped you to see them for who they were.
    Yes, He chose the ordinary to abide because He loved it! And desired to make it extraordinary by Himself.

    Have a great weekend,
    Christy

    Reply
  12. Lyla Lindquist

    In 1 Samuel 21, David rushed into the temple looking for bread to feed his hungry men. The priest had to tell him that he didn't have "any ordinary bread on hand." Instead, he offered David and his men the consecrated Bread of the Presence. Leftover Bread of the Presence, since new loaves of warm bread had already been put in its place.

    The showbread was considered the Presence bread because it was always to be in the presence of the Lord.

    Seems your hamburger bread spent enough time in God's presence — there in His presence with all of you — to become something quite more than ordinary bread.

    Seems He's always flipping stuff on its ear — flipping us — so we see what He can do with His ordinary wretches like His beloved.

    Reply
  13. Chris Godfredsen

    It was quite a moment, new tears stinging my eyes, too, sister.

    Holy God taking simple, imperfect elements and turning them into something extraordinary – just as he does with us!

    Praise God!!!

    Reply
  14. Chris Godfredsen

    It was quite a moment, new tears stinging my eyes, too, sister.

    Holy God taking simple, imperfect elements and turning them into something extraordinary – just as he does with us!

    Praise God!!!

    Reply
  15. cindy

    I'll make this short…
    One Sunday we went to a church that friends of ours had been asking us to come to. When the deacons went forward for Communion, Deacon number 1 was giving a devotion. While speaking the the congregation about how Jesus's blood cleaned us of our sins, as example he pricked his finger to show us the blood. Now this was very unusual to Jack and myself, but I thought the kids were going to bolt for the door.

    Evidently this man was a little extreme in everything he did. Our friends were having a cow thinking Oh no! not him, today!!

    Reply
  16. Beth E.

    Beautiful, Jennifer. This post has touched my heart in a powerful way.

    Reply
  17. ~*Michelle*~

    You have such a gift, Jennifer….amazing.

    This brought me to my knees:

    "And even today, He uses simple, broken vessels
    to carry His Spirit."

    yes, I am broken….and I will continue to give Him all the glory…..for He makes me (us) whole.

    Reply
  18. Girl In a Glass House

    Exquisite line "What do I know of the ways that Holy God can reach down to Grace-Hungry Us in the most ordinary, white-bread ways?"

    And isn't it strange that, though we are all guilty of making God too small, no one has ever confessed to making Him too big!

    Thank you for disciplining your gift of writing…it is wonderful…but it comes with a price (I know)

    Reply
  19. Jessica

    Absolutely beautiful. So true, and yet so easily forgotten. Thank you for allowing yourself to be used as a vessel.

    Reply
  20. Missy

    My eyes well up with tears as I am reading this.

    I have often thought of myself as a "leftover" and certainly not worthy of anything, let alone the Lord's love and forgiveness.

    Thank you for this post.

    Reply
  21. optigrl987

    Isn't God phenomenal? Always and all ways He turns what we view as ordinary in something we will never forget. Once again, a beautiful post.
    Annie

    Reply
  22. Cherie

    I'd never heard this song. Thanks so much for sharing it. I just LOVE that God made sure someone forgot the bread. I love it when He speaks like that!!!

    Reply
  23. Warren Baldwin

    Very good!

    God take what is humble, broken, and unworthy and gives it value – whether it is a meal or our attempts to serve him. Great story.

    Reply
  24. Heather Sunseri

    Beautiful post, Jennifer! God is so good, and God is so great!

    Reply
  25. ♥ Teresa ♥

    Now *I* sit here in tears. What an amazing post. It has left me nearly speechless. What an amazing Lord we serve! He IS an awesome God!

    I found your blog from a comment you left on, 'Are You There God, It's Me'. I LOVE the title of your blog. It is awesome. I am now 'following' you and I absolutely can't wait to read more!

    Have a wonderful Sunday and week ahead.

    Blessings,

    Teresa <><

    TWO VERY SPECIAL MINUTES…

    http://toomanyheartbeats.blogspot.com/2009/10/two-very-special-minutes.html

    Reply
  26. Kee

    I am touched once again by your words and your heart.

    There is an award waiting for you at my blog.

    Reply
  27. elaine @ peace for the journey

    Communion in the common.

    Have wonderfully grace-filled is all of that?! Love this.

    peace~elaine

    Reply
  28. Laura

    This song always makes me cry…humbles me and brings me to my knees.

    Oh, you. Lessons from a hamburger bun. You are a pretty special lady, you know that?

    Reply

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