Friday, September 9, 2011

The Sacred Meal

I've been meaning to review this book for quite sometime and then our family experienced a lot of transition and loss, so I had to put it on hold.

This book reads mostly like a memoir--in some ways it makes me think of a religious version of Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life. I really love writing that centers around the table. I appreciate the experiential connection Gallagher is attempting to make with communion. Usually we are stuck thinking about rules and the where and how, we end up forgetting how the whole process of taking part in the sacred meal is in fact supposed to change us, affect us, help us to re-member the body of Christ. The sacred meal is an experience we share together.

I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much is that it didn't really seem to be about providing clear cut explanations and answers. Too often we seek a black and white understanding of ourselves, our world, our relationship, and God. We don't have answers. We just don't. What we do have is experiences, shared stories, life together, and the movement of the Holy Spirit among us binding us together into one body (at least on our good days.) This book isn't seeking to provide any black and white answers to the sacrament of communion. What Gallagher does is spend time exploring the presence of that which is sacred in our daily life and the way we are moved by the experience of the meals we share, again, and again, and again.

Not everything about the book moved me, but that's not really surprising. I find there are very few books that seem to be just perfect for me. I will say that overall, I really enjoyed this book and rate it four stars.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze program.