Patches Chabala

Patches Chabala

ANOTHER RICH SUNDAY. 8am reflection on “The Bread of Life”, led onto 10am Family Eucharist. First communion for young Freya, and visiting preacher, Zambian ordinand Patches Chabala, enthralling us with a very personal “photo album” of life back home in Zambia. Choices are simpler, Patches reflected. Asked whether you’d like a hot or a cold drink you’d simply reply, “hot, please” or “cold”. It takes a while to get the hang of the plethora of choices available in the UK. Here you can’t even get away with “tea, please” or “coffee”, for a further half dozen questions as to personal preference follow on from even these decisions. Get beyond hot or cold drinks and on to “what’s to eat?” and the world of the UK supermarket dazzles. Thankfully, God keeps things simple. In Jesus He’s the “bread of life” … french, ciabatta, naan, flat or Hovis don’t come into it. He just IS the bread of life. In Jesus we encounter God.

As an Iona liturgy has it:

He whom the universe could not contain, is present to us in this bread. He who redeemed us and called us by name now meets us in this cup. So take this bread and this wine. In them God comes to us so that we may come to God

God in the ordinary stuff of life. God in that which we can’t help but to do every day of our lives: eating and drinking. In this encounter we’re not left dazzled or baffled by a plethora of choices, nor asked to tick boxes, nor sent away “to get some experience and come back later”. God meets us today. Now. Where we are are and who we are. Because that’s who and what the Bread of Life is … Here and Now. The doors of God’s hospitality are open to every man, woman and child upon earth, today. We do well to remember that. And to open our church doors, ever wider.

See also: Patches goes to Lambeth