“I have to confess something,” my wife told me after church on Sunday. She had a gleam in her eye, which was odd given what she had just said.
“I let them eat the extra.”
Them being our three rascals, and it being the communion bread that was left over after church on Sunday.
I didn’t see it, but I know that our boys don’t so much eat as scarf, and they usually leave evidence in the form of crumbs all over themselves and anything within five square miles. I’m picturing them right now with crumbs of Jesus all over them, covering them, and trailing after them.
I can’t think of anything holier, or more beautiful.
It means that there’s enough Jesus left over – more than enough – even when lots and lots of people have already been nourished by him.
It means that on those occasions when you’re still mysteriously hungry even after you’ve already eaten, you can come back, and there will be more, no questions asked.
It means that Jesus is present during the formal and the informal times of our lives, in church and in traffic, and even after we’ve just horribly messed everything up, offering the same gift to all of us, everywhere.
And it means when you’ve eaten the extra, it covers you and trails after you wherever you go.
For a few weeks, I was feeling dark and stormy, and I didn’t know how to find the sun. When I’m like this, it’s hard on me, and it’s hard on my family. During one particularly cloudy conversation with Mary, she suddenly stopped, looked at me, and smiled. Then she said, “I like you.”
With those three words, the sun peeked out from behind the trees. It was just a glimmer, but there it was. In the middle of my darkness, when I actually wasn’t very likable, Mary offered me some of the extra. And I ate it. It covered me, and trailed after me.
The prophet Isaiah writes these captivating words about food and extra and eating:
If you are thirsty, come here;
come, there’s water for all.
Whoever is poor and penniless can still
come and buy the food I sell.
There’s no cost—here, have some food, hearty and delicious,
and beverages, pure and good.
2 I don’t understand why you spend your money for things that don’t nourish
or work so hard for what leaves you empty.
Attend to Me and eat what is good;
enjoy the richest, most delectable of things.
3 Listen closely, and come even closer. My words will give life,
for I will make a covenant with you that cannot be broken, a promise
Of My enduring presence and support like I gave to David.
4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander among the nations.
5 Now you will issue a call to nations from all over the world—
people whom you do not know and who do not know you.
They will come running, because of Me, your God
because the Eternal, the Holy One of Israel, has made you beautiful. — Isaiah 55:1-5 (The Voice)
Chances are, right now, you need some of the extra. It’s right there, it’s free, and it’s good.
There will always be extra for rascals like you and like me. Let it cover you and trail after you.