Originally written in April, 2016
Eucharist has been shaping me and my understanding of church significantly over this past year.
I wrote a paper on it.
I preached on it.
Some friends and I have even started gathering in a house that is entirely centred around the open table. It's been really formative for us; especially by bringing our kids into it and making them a part of it.
Recently, while reading on early church history, it was interesting to discover that from the second century throughout most of the history of the church, communion was the highest form of Christian worship. What's even more fascinating is that for those early communities the emphasis of the table was not in remembering the death of Jesus, but celebrating his resurrection. For centuries Christians met each week in joy and gratitude as fellow participants in the resurrection - the new reality that had broken in. It wasn't until 1400 years later (and even then it wasn't normative until much later than that) that the sermon became the central gathering point for the church.
From it's very beginning, the church has found our identity in being welcomed to a common table and breaking bread with other followers of Jesus.
In becoming aware that all of life is a gift and that we are dependent on things beyond our control and our only response is to say 'thank you'.
In recognizing the inter-connectedness of all things. Us to one another, to the earth, and to our creator.
In staging a subversive protest to the values of empire by embodying a whole new socio-economic reality in which all are welcomed to the same table equally and without discrimination.
In discovering the liberating power of practical reconciliation within community.
In finding that you're a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself that joins you with the global/historic community of God.
In pausing and weighing the sacredness of a moment.
So lately I've been trying to notice these sort of mini Eucharist moments throughout my day. Times of inter-connectedness and gratitude and heightened awareness. When bread is broken and wine is poured and the fullness of life is shared with those I love or am just getting to know. When we encounter each other through the heart of the common table and the risen Christ is revealed to be present among us.
Whether it's having a quick meal with a friend or sharing a quiet moment listening to the birds by a pond with my two year old; it's in these moments that I'm trying to linger a little longer and bring attention to the goodness of it to all.
"And this is wonderful," my daughter agreed with a smile.