(Note: This is part two of a two part series.)
I made a quick trip to Target, not bothering to change my clothes after swimming. Of course, I saw a friend whom I've known since she was three. We chatted a few minutes. Walking away I glanced at my faded sweatshirt, and noticed several purple spots obtained when I picked grapes and made jelly earlier in the week.
My friend, Ann, told me about a local vineyard following the advice given by God in Exodus 23:10-11 -"You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove."
Reaching the vineyard early in the morning the first day of picking enabled me to select many ripe bunches of purple Concord grapes. I went to the end of a long row because I wanted to pick in silence. However, other pickers arrived shortly, and soon children were running up and down the rows chatting loudly with excitement, wonder and curiosity.
"The kingdom is filled with many people appreciating the generosity of the owners," I thought, hearing the comments from other visitors.
Deciding two overflowing boxes were enough grapes for twelve jars of jelly, I stopped picking, hauled my treasures over the wet grass, and deposited them in the trunk of my car.
I followed internet instructions to make jelly and soon had twelve jars resting on my kitchen counter. The jelly was deep purple, however, the finished consistency was more like juice. The jelly/juice had a deep rich taste and was delicious poured over biscuits.
Making biscuits for over three decades has put me in touch with the body of Christ, metaphorically and reflectively. Perhaps my jelly was supposed to be more like juice so I could have the complete communion experience - making the body and blood of Christ.
One night recently I was having trouble sleeping. I went downstairs to the refrigerator, took a small biscuit, and poured a teaspoon of jelly over the top. Asking God to bless my communion, I trusted God to enter my experience. Walking slowly upstairs, I returned to bed, falling asleep quickly.
Prayer: God for the blessing and generosity of Sabbath grapes, I give you thanks. For baking bread that comes easily from my hands made in the light of your presence, I give you thanks. For homemade communion touched by your mystery, I give you thanks. Amen.