My sister, after years away from the faith, came home to Christ in the Lutheran church. The transition back into the church world, while…
There are times when the body, that is, the church, is out of sorts too. Fractured relationships, broken trust, as Paul alludes to in his letter to the contentious Corinthians, jealousy over not getting to be the part of the body you want to be, pride – all of these and more tend to dismember us, if not in actual people leaving the church, at least in a virtual distance even if we’re in the same space to worship or to learn or to break bread. There are times where you just don’t “feel like” it…like breaking bread with him or her or them. “Ugh! I have to share at the table with them?”
But the Word comes nevertheless, not in an earthquake or fire or rushing wind, but in this man, Jesus the Christ. And he offers himself to us; eat from me, drink from me.
You also don’t have time for a one-on-one visit with every individual person to offer a uniquely tailored word of pastoral wisdom, and not everyone would want it or welcome it if you did. Instead, you have Sunday morning: a worship service following a very tumultuous week.
You know that you yourself are likely tired of election-related headlines, posts, interviews and memes. While the nation quarrels, the bulletin still has to be printed, the PowerPoint prepped, the hospital visits made, the insurance paperwork filled out.
What will you do with your ten or twenty or thirty minutes?
This is what it means to get a feast mentality. It is to set your face toward that table, believing in the goodness of the One who set it for you, while you’re still in the valley. It is to believe the story is true even when life is hard.
The Body of Christ can’t be reduced to a series of zeros and ones. This is why a nursing home resident may watch sermons on their television but still ask to be wheeled down to the weekly worship service in the multipurpose room. This is why that same resident may request that their pastor bring them communion occasionally.
It is absurd to apologize for mystery.
The idea of the future has a mysterious quality to it because it is always beyond us, in one sense not yet fulfilled. As you look ahead, what do you anticipate about the future? What concerns or fears do you have? Do you think that in the midst of the inevitable uncertainty regarding various aspects of our future, there is still reason to be hopeful about what lies ahead for you, for your family, or for others? Why or why not?
It has been said that the dinner table—that place where we eat, talk, and share life together with others—is an extension of the Eucharist. For you and your family, what has been the significance of feasting at family gatherings? How does the act of eating together promote fellowship and community? How is that also true for us all in the Lord’s Supper?
We know that what we do here in Holy Communion is look forward to that day when life will finally be the way God wants it to be.