Monday, March 12, 2012

Is This For Here, or to Go?

In our house church yesterday (we meet at four), Skip and Carol Tobin shared their vision of a church being less about trying to attract others to come to us, and more about preparing and sending us out to wherever we are needed.

At the close of our service, as we prepared for our usual evening meal together, we shared the bread and cup of the Lord’s Supper as a metaphor for the poured out and broken life of Jesus. Since one of our members has a gluten allergy, we used rice crackers as our bread. It was brittle fare, nothing like the bland texture of leavened bread, and a fitting sign of a life broken for others.

As we poured grape juice into cups for everyone around the table, we invited each to share what they needed from God for the week ahead. Blood is a sign of life, we reminded ourselves, not just of death, so we expressed, by turn, our need for renewed life from a God who freely offers life to all.

It was a moment of clarity for me, that in the partaking of an ordinary, life-giving meal, that we not only celebrate our coming together, broken and in need of new life for ourselves, but that in communion we prepare for going out, ready and able to share with others the life we receive in the Eucharist.

In order to live in the world in the imitation of Christ, we need all of the spiritual energy we can get--energizing, life giving bread, life enhancing drink.

As this food gives up its life for us,
may we follow that pattern of
self surrender for each other.
May we be life for one another.

from “Prayers for the Domestic Church” by Edward Hays

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