Last Sunday night my wife, Julie, and I hosted a dinner party for our clergy small group. We served grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  Yes, we did. 

When I was growing up grilled cheese and tomato soup were Sunday night standards in my house.  We’d go to youth groups and the Sunday evening service and then head home for this simple little meal.  I didn’t really think much about it back then but when our turn to host our small group came around, Julie and I thought it would be fun to bring this menu back to life.

Leading up to the party I posted a question on Facebook, “What is the best wine to serve with tomato soup and grilled cheese?” I could not believe the response. At last count there were over 60 replies. I’ve written on Facebook about serious theological, ecclesiastical and societal issues but I’ve never had a response like the “what wine” posting. You can go to my page and see that everything from milk to merlot was suggested. It turns out that the wine suggestions of my Facebook friends are just as diverse as their theological viewpoints.

The energetic reaction from so many caught my attention. There is something sacred about sharing a simple meal with good friends. There is something holy about breaking (or grilling) bread while sharing in laughter and conversation. I believe the Facebook recommendations were in some simple manner a way for many to reconnect with their youth (apparently tomato soup and grilled cheese is still VERY popular). But more than that, it also demonstrated the deep desire in the human community to be connected with one another.

We Christian Church folks have been gathering around the Lord’s Table for a simple meal since our earliest days. Sometimes it’s not much of a meal really, just a tiny chip of bread and a bland sip of Welch’s. But most of the time that is more than enough to remind us that in the family of God, no matter how diverse or different we are in theology and politics, we all need a little bread for the journey and wine for the soul.

For the record, I prefer mine filled with cheese and grilled, with a side of Julie’s hearty red pepper tomato soup.

Grace and peace to you,