Common Thoughts for an Uncommon Feast
by Janice V. Bailey
Xulon Press

"When we come together around this table in participation of the communion meal, we do it because Jesus told us to."

Author Bailey shares her understanding of the communion meal as a means of living in the moment and embracing the life one is blessed with. She begins by reminding the reader that along with the physical heart ("the most important muscle in our bodies") one also has a spiritual heart that needs to be aligned with the will of God. Sitting around a table as Jesus and his disciples did at the Last Supper can provide a continual reminder of that alignment. Small life situations may arise to help sustain that spiritual relationship—reading a book, cleaning house, or drinking a morning coffee. Special days in the year, such as Independence Day, Christmas, and New Year's Day, can also serve as faith reminders. Turning off distracting devices occasionally can help one focus. Just as calendars are used to track one's schedule, one needs the habit of communing each week to maintain a steadfast connection with Christ and his teachings.

The author, a dedicated church participant who enjoys working with high school students, has arrayed her ideas in simple, cogent messages that amply demonstrate not only her abilities as a writer but also as a spokesperson for her convictions. Each segment, one or two pages in length, focuses on a practical matter—car maintenance, packing for a camping trip, observing a powerful old tree, or contemplating the deeper meaning of Christmas—and concludes with a relevant quotation from scripture. Throughout, she maintains a comfortable image of herself and her readers taking communion together, suggesting it could and should become a regular activity for everyone. Her work is studious but also conveys a sense of her genuine enjoyment in creating it. Christian study groups and individuals looking for inspirational reading material will likely enjoy Bailey's faith-focused collection.

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