"I am the Bread of Life.” John 6:48
While in Mississippi, I helped a friend clean out her aunt’s freezer. When we lifted the lid, I almost fainted. There, sitting on top of bags of flour and cornmeal, was an entire pig’s head. A city girl, I wasn’t used to food staring back at me.
“Wonderful,” my friend said. “I’ll cook you up some jowls and dressing. You’ll love it!”
Many cultures use “every part of the pig but the oink,” but for my neighbors, cooking pigs’ feet, tails, jowls, and intestines went back to days of slavery, when those were the only parts of the pig they got.
Today it’s called “Soul Food” and you can find it on many tables, North and South. A distinctly African-American cuisine, Soul Food celebrates delicious meals prepared creatively from little or nothing. With the right touch, cooks we know can make even the smelly mess of empty pig’s intestines—chitterlings—taste good.
During Lent we remember our own need for “Soul Food”—the Lord’s Supper. Jesus gives us His body and blood to keep us in Him now and eternally (see John 6:54, 56). Through Christ, we are forgiven and freed to reach others with His all-embracing love.
True to her word, my friend invited me for hog jowls and dressing. I closed my eyes and tasted the most marvelous melt-in-the-mouth dressing I’ve ever eaten. In the Lord’s Supper, refreshing food for my soul, I "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).
Prayer: I come O Savior, to Your table, for weak and weary is my soul; You, Bread of Life, alone are able to satisfy and make me whole. Amen.
Response: Give bread to the world through Lutheran World Relief.
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)
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