I’ve been listening to someone I trust talk about putting the elements of communion in the church’s prayer room, so that individuals who spend time there in prayer can also celebrate with the Lord in an intimate, communal experience.
His comments take me to a long period in my earlier life when I belonged to a faith community that, while it had its other flaws, took Jesus at His Word when He said,
. . . He took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:19-20)
I have since listened to scores of teachers, preachers, prophets, and apostles talk about what Jesus really meant to say. Only a select few of them have had the courage to accept Him at His Word. Most have some pat, conventional “religious” interpretation that fits neatly, or maybe not so neatly, into their dumbed-down version of the mystery behind His words.
I’ve been rethinking my acceptance of those pat answers and explanations. And I’m not buying the rhetoric anymore. His mystery trumps their dumbed-down answers every time.
I’ve decided to pursue Jesus, in all His mystery, divinity, and humanity. So now, when I sit reverently waiting, and take the elements into my hands, I hear His words and I remember Him, and in my acceptance of that awareness, He is immediately, intimately present…with me…in com-union. That’s right, He comes and spends time with me…with me.
If He never tells me what He meant, and if, for the rest of my natural life, we just sit there together, enjoying each other, and I can soak in His presence, His love, and His caress, well, that’s enough for me.
I’m sure He meant exactly what He said…
I am the bread of life. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood resides in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven . . . The one who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:48, 55-58)
Spending just one day in your presence is better than spending a thousand elsewhere. (Psalm 84:10)