“then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy” (Psalm 126:2, another of the lectionary readings for this week)
Bonhoeffer, on the “fellowship of the table”:
“The fellowship of the table has a festive quality… God cannot endure that unfestive, mirthless attitude of ours in which we eat bread in sorrow, with pretentious, busy haste, or even with shame. Through our daily meals He is calling us to rejoice, to keep holiday in the midst of our working day…” (Bonhoeffer, Life Together).
This means that: “Christians, in their wholehearted joy in the good gifts of this physical life, acknowledge their Lord as the true giver of all good gifts; and beyond this, as the true Gift; the true Bread of life itself; and finally, as the one who is calling them to the banquet of the Kingdom of God. So in a singular way, the daily table fellowship [i.e., concrete gifts of provision] binds the Christians to their Lord and one another…” (ibid.).
To keep holiday in the midst of our working, to chew on laughter and taste joy on the tip of the tongue… Because even though it’s advent there’s still the 9-5, the dishes to wash, the trash to take out, the trips to the Post Office where you have to drive up 6 levels of a parking garage just to park. And in the midst of the crumbs on the floor and the trips to the grocery to buy one ingredient for this potluck thing, we get forgetful. And meals stand as small, necessary reminders to sit, be slow, and rejoice. Because God has given us Bread to eat.