|Cheese & Crackers
As New Year's Eve went on, a group of us were starting to get silly as we discussed those great theological debates that cloud our minds. For instance: Roger questioned why don't we have a piece of cheese on that cracker during the Lord's Supper? Obviously this was a problem for Bro. Ernest to solve. And as it turned out, it wasn't all that difficult. It just took a quick look in the Bible. Back in those days, you didn't run out to the store to pick up a block of cheddar or swiss. You were a farmer who had to milk your own goats and make the cheese yourself. You saved it for special occasions like when entertaining guests or that special gift that showed you cared. You didn't want to waste any of that milk, but the process of making cheese was time consuming and troublesome. In Genesis 18 Abraham notices 3 strangers approaching. He had been sitting under a tree enjoying the shade. And he was in a real good mood. He asked them to join him and decided to make a picnic of it. In verse 8 we find, "When the food was ready, he took some cheese and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them there beneath the trees." Abraham didn't know it, but he was serving the Lord and 'angels unaware.' When it came time to depart, they not only thanked him for his hospitality, but also announced that he and Sarah were to have a son. Not to bad for an old couple. In 1st Samuel 17, we find the story of David and Goliath. David's part of the story had started because his three older brothers were already in the army. Jesse, their dad, decided to send them some bread along with "ten cuts of cheese to their captain" (verse 18). Kind of sounds like a Hickory Farms gift pack, doesn't it? We skip ahead to 2nd Samuel. David is now in charge of the army and has just crossed the Jordan. Here in verse 29 we find the people bringing 'honey, butter, sheep, and cheese for David and those who were with him. For they said, "You must all be very tired and hungry and thirsty after your long march through the wilderness."' In the Bible we find cheese to be a little like grace. It is that unexpected, undeserved reward. In none of the examples in the Bible was it asked for. Yet it was freely given.
I'm not sure that answered the question. The Baptist Faith & Message states that "The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming." It occurred to me that Jesus may have been in a hurry to make His point and get on with the evening's activities. He knew what was to come. So He broke the bread and passed it around to the disciples. Perhaps they had already finished off the cheese. Or it may have been that He gave each apostle the opportunity to garnish the bread with their individual choice of butter, cheese, or gravy. Or to just take it plain. Like Roger, I want the cheese. I choose to remember not just His death on the cross, but also the saving grace it brought to me.