I’m sure that all of you have favorite foods, dishes that you find extremely pleasing and satisfying to your taste buds and that you try to enjoy whenever the opportunity and proper nutrition permit your indulgence.  Some of these foods may be tied to certain seasons of the year, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, or even some other part of the country where you periodically visit.  Maybe you are among those people who can say, “When we are in ________, we always eat at ________.”

On our recent vacation to the Florida Panhandle, I got to indulge in some regional favorites.  We stopped at a roadside fruit and vegetable stand while driving through L.A. (that’s Lower Alabama) and bought some Chilton County peaches and some hot, boiled peanuts right out of the kettle.  Yes, the latter is definitely an acquired taste, but one that I developed a long time ago.  During our stay at Navarre Beach, I drove into Destin one day to buy a few pounds of fresh, Gulf shrimp which we boiled in the condo with some Zatarain’s spices.  Though we generally eat “on the run” on long drives, we took the time for a “sit down meal” on the trip back to Oklahoma, and I got a good country dinner of pinto beans, fried okra, mashed potatoes with gravy, turnip greens, and cornbread.

But the most important and significant meal that I had while we were away consisted of rather simple fare: unleavened bread and grape juice.  It wasn’t a meal that was intended to fill the stomach or overwhelm one’s sense of taste with an explosion of exotic flavors.  It was an ironically simple and austere meal, considering the magnitude of what it represented and memorialized. 

Jesus infused the traditional bread of the Passover with fuller, richer, and more eternal meaning.  To Christians who celebrate the Lord’s Supper, it represents the physical body of God in the flesh: beaten, bruised, spat upon, cut, crucified, and pierced for our transgressions; the Innocent One suffering on behalf of all of us guilty ones. 

The fruit of the vine is emblematic of the precious blood of Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, our Passover sacrifice; the blood of the Savior which has the power to wash away our sins.

I shared this meal with loved ones nearby and with countless, distant brothers and sisters around the world. 

It is my favorite meal.

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