I paused before saying the words of institution a few Wednesdays ago. I was choosing which piece to hold up while talking about the promises that come with Jesus broken. On Wednesdays, the bread comes pre-broken because we're using leftovers from Sunday morning.
When I was little, my dad used to make leftover omelets. They were generally gross or adventurous - all items you normally wouldn't see in an omelet. If a food made it into the omelet, that was a last resort - it had no other options and this was likely its last day alive before Mom tossed it. I'm pretty sure my dad is void of tastebuds, so his ability to create and eat (and actually enjoy) them came in handy when it was time to clean out the fridge before a grocery run.
Regular non-omelet leftovers are the best. You already know what you're getting and there's something sentimental and familiar about coming back to that same meal again. You heat it up and remember having it for the first time. There's no prep work involved - you just dive right in and the hunger disappears much more quickly than it would if you needed to make something from scratch. I'm a pretty mediocre cook and get crabby when my blood sugar is low, so day-old leftovers are dear to me.
So is Recovery Worship. I show up on Wednesday nights more ravenous than I first realize. I'm hungry for that time together, circled around the word and the bread. I'm eager to sing and sit and reflect. Everything about this time together comes pre-broken: the people, the stories, the forgiveness, the meal, and the laughter. We dive right in and gobble up the leftovers. We don't need a recipe for being vulnerable and we don't need to follow instructions about sharing grief and multiplying joys - it just happens. We show up pre-broken and ready to go.
I continued with the words of institution, saying that Jesus once took bread to bless and break among friends and deniers, brothers and betrayers. He shared it, explaining that his body would be broken for the sake of their brokenness. His cup would be poured out to filled their cups and the cups of everyone who needed it and who thought they didn't need it. Everyone.
In those words, Jesus explained that the meal gave us permission to come broken, to bring our delicious day-old dinners and our bottom-of-the-heap omelets, too - whatever we've got and whatever we're missing are welcome - because at Christ's table being broken is a prerequisite and there is always, always enough to satisfy.