Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist
I saw this delightful book arrive in the queue for review with the publisher and I was immediately drawn to it. Reading the title and the description evoked beautiful (and hungry) thoughts. I don't know about you, but the sacrament of communion brings to my heart such tender thoughts toward Jesus. The book begins with her telling us that we can bring that blessing to our table at home. Every time you break bread with someone at your table, you can practice the thankfulness of the Eucharist. You had me at Jesus, Shauna. I was hooked. It evoked thoughts of the verses in Matthew that tell us whatever we give or do for others, you do for Me. I was hungry and you fed Me. Don't you love it. You can bring that delight like John reclining on Christ's breast right to your table. Be thankful.
Shauna is a wordsmith. She is so rich in her descriptive language that she made me want desperately to do two things: love people in a deep, abiding way and eat decadently. She also made me laugh with her confessions of loving fake cheese. Her stories of love and loss were woven in a sensitive, healing way. She didn't have pity parties over her pain or others'. She baked a cake or made a torte and she showed up with love.
I told a dear friend of mine (Amy) about the book and when she started it, she told me that the author was her new bff. That dear friend is also the chair of the book club at my church. She had a whole gaggle of ladies do it. We had the most fun trying out the recipes and sharing what we gleaned.
My rector's wife, Sandy, shared a point during the evening about how it is Jewish custom not to bless the food but to bless the Lord for the food. Maybe you remember that was one of my favorite things I read in Lois Tverberg's book. It brought back memories of A Quiet Place of Rest where we are taught that Samuel's main role as a prophet was not showy acts, but to minister directly to the Lord. I loved that. In my mind, I tied all of these things together as a reminder to focus on serving and blessing the Lord at my table. Eucharisteo.
I gave this book to several darling friends. You'll love it.
PS. Guess who is getting to go hear Shauna at Hope Spoken, a conference for Christian bloggers in March.