body and blood

“We need your help. Would you and your husband serve communion today?”

 

That’s how we got there. Not by some grand organization or as scheduled servants. Just us—the right place at the right time. Not the chosen, just the available. They were in need and we were willing. Actually, I wasn’t even there. I was elsewhere. But this is what my wife was asked and of course we would. We are somewhat new here, but we want to belong, we want to help, we want to experience the Body. We want to know and learn to love this Body. And so we serve.

 

I hold the bread. She holds the cup. People are invited and they come. First they come to me; not to me, they come to the bread. It is the Body and we are one body, so each pulls—tears—from the One. And as they tear Christ I say, “This is the body of Christ, broken for you.”

 

They take one step to the side, holding the broken Body. My wife holds the cup and they dip the broken into the blood. As they do she proclaims, “This is the blood of Christ, shed for you.”

 

And so we stand and so we say. Again and again. For those who come they hear it but once. For me, I hear it again and again. Repeated. A rhythm of love and sacrifice.

 

This is the body of Christ broken for you…this is the blood of Christ shed for you.

 

At first it is just a privilege. I am so happy to stand here and serve my family. I see faces I know and have come to love. I see faces I have only spoken to, and some I do not know at all. I offer the broken to my own little child. This is good and I am pleased to be here. It is an honor.

 

This is the body of Christ broken for you…this is the blood of Christ shed for you.

 

As it continues—this rhythm in my ears—I am coming undone. Not on the outside. Outwardly I proclaim the Body broken. The only one who could look at me and know is next to me serving, so I know until I turn and serve her I will hold it in. But inside I am broken.

 

This is the body of Christ broken for you…this is the blood of Christ shed for you.

 

I think as I serve, “This Jesus…he loved too much.” I am not worth this. These people I serve are not worth this either. We are a mess. We are broken and stubborn and rude and selfish. We take this bread, we take this cup, but do we even get it or appreciate it? This Jesus…he loved too much. But this is not mine to decide and for this I am grateful.

 

This is the body of Christ broken for you…this is the blood of Christ shed for you.

 

As all are finished I turn to serve my wife. I take the cup from her and I hold both. She tears from the body and I choke out the words, This is the body of Christ broken for you. She dips the bread and waits. I cannot say the words. I am without words. I try, but I cannot speak. I am torn up with gratitude and horror at what Jesus has done. It is too much and I am deeply grateful. I need it.

 

I am loved too much and don’t understand it. But I am grateful. 

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.          1 Corinthians 10:16-17

  

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”        1 Corinthians 11:23-25

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One thought on “body and blood

  1. Pingback: the good side of fear « soul grit

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