Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Each One Brought An Empty Cup

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God. 

My soul thirsts for God, 
    for the living God. 
When can I go and meet with God?
Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV)

Last Sunday each member of our house church brought an empty cup we use regularly at home to our 4 pm celebration of the Lord's Supper, around a circle of tables at the Family Life Resource Center meeting room.

This was our prayer:

Fill my cup, Lord,
I lift it up Lord!
Come and quench
this thirsting of my soul;

Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more --
Fill my cup, fill it up
and make me whole!

(Richard Blanchard)

We were given as much grape juice in our cup as we wished, along with an ample slice of nourishing bread, reminding us of Christ's broken body and poured-out life, and that in Christ we have become united as one loaf (I Corinthians 10:16-17).

As Christ breaks bread and bids us share, 
each proud division ends.
The Love that made us, makes us one,
and strangers now are friends.
(459, Hymnal, A Worship Book, Brian Wren)

We had no carry-in meal this Sunday of the kind we usually enjoy, but this one was profoundly satisfying in a different way.

Let the hungry come to me, let the poor be fed.
Let the thirsty come and drink, share my wine and bread.
(464, HWB, Delores Dufner, O.S.B.)

After drinking from the cup and savoring a portion of our bread, we took turns reading from some of the many hymn texts from the communion section of our hymnal, and after each reading again drank from our cup and ate another portion of the bread. Thus it felt more like a meal rather than being simply a symbolic sample of wine and bread.

And we accept bread at his table,
broken and shared, a living sign.
Here in this world, dying and living,
we are each other's bread and wine.
(1 HWB, Huub Oosterhuis, translated by David Smith)

We came with our cups empty, drank deeply, and left strangely satisfied, taking the same empty cup home with us as a reminder of God's daily provision for body and soul alike.

Sent forth by God's blessing, our true faith confessing,
the people of God from this dwelling take leave.
The supper is ended. Oh, now be extended
the fruits of this service in all who believe.
(478 HWB Omer Westerhof, People's Mass Book)

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