This post is the sixth (and final) in a series about my five core values.
If you missed the first few posts, you can find them here!
As part of our worship, my church takes what we call Common Meal (you may know it as Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist) every week. Each time, we take a small piece of bread – representative of Christ’s body broken for us – and dip it in juice – representative of his blood spilled for us.
I think a lot of people probably wonder why the church has this practice. I mean, really, is there anything less appealing than the idea of eating the body and drinking the blood of another person? No, no there is not. It’s odd, to say the least.
But, trust me, it is also so, so good.
We eat and drink, not to be faux-canibalists, but to remember how the death and resurrection of Jesus changed everything. To remember that the brokenness of the world does not win. To remember that Jesus taught us a new way to live, a fuller way to live, a way to live that heals our world.
The practice empowers us to keep on in the ways of Jesus.
In her memoir, Girl Meets God, Lauren Winner says this about Common Meal (she calls it Eucharist),
It is like what the angel said to the exhausted and broken prophet, Elijah, collapsed in a sleep under a broom tree. The angel waked him and said, “Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you.” And that is the Eucharist. If I did not eat, the journey would be too great.
If we did not take the time to remember, all of the little decisions to let go of selfish ambitions, all of the times we choose to act by faith not sight, all of the times we wonder if this Faith is real…they would all be too great. When we pause and remember the death and resurrection of Jesus and the way it changed everything, we find the strength to continue on.
This necessity to eat – to remember – is why my fifth core value is to remember God. In the midst of all of the words I write, the words you read, it is all too easy to forget God. I could easily make my writing all about me – my success, my gifts, my vendettas and heartaches.
But what would be the point? All that would result from that is a lot of exhaustion and disappointment.
Earlier this week, some friends and I were talking about defining your “win” in business settings. The idea is that, in order for a company to truly gauge their success, they must measure themselves against their desired win instead of what numbers, other people, or their doubts are saying.
The same is true for us in every day life, I think. We have to know our win in order to not compare ourselves to unrealistic standards or the people around us.
I don’t want my writing to be all about me, because I will never “win” that way. Instead, I win by spreading the hope, life, and love that is given to me daily by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Just today, I finished Shauna Niequist’s book, Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table. In it, she says:
Holiness abounds, should we choose to look for it. The whisper and drumbeat of God’s Spirit are all around us, should we choose to listen for them. The building blocks of the most common meal – the bread and the wine – are reminders to us: “He’s here! God is here, and he’s good.” Every time we eat, every time we gather, every time the table is filled: He’s here. He’s here, and he is good.
My hope is that you will help me make space to gather here, like friends around the table, to remember God. That we will take time like we take Common Meal – to remember that life is different because of the cross, and we have the joy of seeing holiness abound in all things, at all times, through all people.
all my love,