Monday, September 6, 2010

Our Daily Bread

When I woke up this morning, Roy was in our room, giving Gabriel money with which to purchase a loaf of sourdough. Seeing I was awake, Gabriel asked me if I waned to go with him to Panera bread. I told him I would go to the caf. Then I started thinking about Broccoli Cheddar soup. So I told him I would meet him there.

I went through Biola’s back gate and traipsed about the slight inclines and valleys of the La Mirada neighborhoods to the La Mirada town center. It was already 12:30- I had slept in, given that the night before had been prolonged by discussion of theology and film.

When I got to Panera, Gabriel was sitting right next to the door. I set down my satchel and went to order. When I returned, I noticed that Gabriel’s plate and bowl of soup were empty and pushed aside, and he was munching a piece of sourdough bread.

“I paid for a third of it.” He said, by way of explanation. I nodded. Son enough, I was preoccupied with half a Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich and a bowl of Broccoli Cheddar soup.

After a few hours of studying, Gabriel suggested we migrate to Dr. Yeh’s house, where there was an open invitation for the day to come and study, with coffee and tea provided by the great Allen Yeh himself.

Shortly, we arrived there, and after a cursory tour of Dr. Yeh’s very smart new residence, we settled in at the kitchen table with books in hand, cookies on a plate, and a pot of coffee bubbling nearby. Somehow, the loaf of bread had made it’s way out of Gabriel’s backpack and onto the table. I reached for a slice. Panera makes good bread.

I spent some time reading Romans for class- I listened to some lectures this summer by Dr. Knox Chamblin of the Reformed Theological Seminary- he referred to Saint Paul as “a Christ-intoxicated person”. Indeed he is. I used to think I didn’t like Paul. I can only assume this was a grievous consequence of a willingness to be told about Paul without an equal willingness to read him. I love Paul’s epistles. I shall be glad to spend more time in them in the coming semester. Already, Thessalonians has changed my view of Eschatology from a vague, discontented negation of “Left-Behind-esque thought” into a joyful affirmation of the hope we have in awaiting Christ’s return- even if I still feel uncomfortable attempting to solidify any details other than what is explicit in scripture.

When we left Dr. Yeh’s house, we realized that we had successfully eaten most of Roy’s bread. Gabriel needed to get to his parents’ house, so I just had him drop me off at Panera to get another loaf for Roy and simply walk back to Biola.

When I went to purchase the bread, however, the cashier informed me that there was no more sourdough. I decided to get Roy a thin loaf of Asiago cheese bread. When I got back to the room, I gave the loaf to Roy.

Several hours later, Roy walked into the room with a large loaf of Tomato Basil bread and a small block of cheddar cheese. Gabriel had just returned from his parents’, and Sam had been studying in the room. Roy offered us bread, and we partook together. It was very good.

I think the Church is beautiful; even in this fumbling of college students buying bread, there is an echo of the love of the apostles, sharing among themselves. Today, our comical failure to fetch bread for Roy turned into a running demonstration of Christian charity and generosity, taking joy in the benefit of others. Today, I partook of the communion of saints.

It was a good day.


Anonymous said...

You are the most wonderful Jonathan in the world. You, I adore.