This Week: Oct. 24 - 30

Published: October 24, 2011


News from the Office of Academic Affairs


Some Thoughts on Crumbs

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.     
– Mary Oliver, from The Swan: Poems and Prose Poems, 2010


The Didache, or the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is an early Christian document considered by most scholars to be from the later first or early second century.  The document, a kind of pastoral manual, contains instructions for celebrations of the Eucharist. The following is an English translation of the original Greek:

Celebrate the Eucharist as follows: Say over the cup: “We give you thanks, Father, for the holy vine of David, your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory forever.”

Over the broken bread say: “We give you thanks, Father, for the life and the knowledge which you have revealed to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory forever. As this broken bread scattered on the mountains was gathered and became one, so too, may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For glory and power are yours through Jesus Christ forever.” 

This week in Chapel, our community will celebrate Eucharist.  Always, when we make our way from classrooms and offices to Davis Chapel to share in table fellowship, I think of the Didache’s words.

During this autumn season when so many local communities are hosting harvest festivals, I am thankful for the students, faculty, and staff who have been gathered together here to become this school of divinity. We are a diverse theological community, each of us called to serve God in some unique way, but at God’s feast table, what is otherwise scattered becomes one, the body of Christ, and we rejoice.  And joy, at least according to Mary Oliver, “is not made to be a crumb.”

Blessings on your week,

  Jill Crainshaw
  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs