The Sacred Meal, by Nora Gallagher, discusses the meaning behind the practice of sharing in the body and blood of Christ through the sacrament of Communion. She shares stories from her own life and her role in the Episcopal church in order to illustrate the points she makes about the significance of this holy ritual.
Nora Gallagher’s personal experiences are interesting, especially the ones about her work in a soup kitchen. She also has served Communion as part of her church duties, and gives a vivid picture of what it is like to be involved in that aspect of the service.
Several things she mentions surprised me as they are different from the teachings of my church, but the basics seem relevant for all Christians. She tries to relate Communion with the teachings of Jesus, and makes some thought-provoking comparisons between his life and the way people live today.
The idea that stuck with me as being the most meaningful is that Communion is a practice, and we practice things in order to do something better. Taking Communion is a way of helping us improve our relationship with God and with each other. It serves a greater purpose than simply fulfilling a ritual observance of our Lord’s last meal.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in the practices of the Christian church or in forming a closer bond with God. This book is easy to read and helpful without being preachy. I enjoyed it and plan to read it again.
(This book was provided to me for review by the publisher, Thomas Nelson. The opinion expressed is my own.)