Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Today’s text

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.' And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.' Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord's death until he comes.


Strip it down to its essentials and this is all the Lord’s Supper is: simple sharing of a bread and cup through which heaven is present on earth as empty hands are filled and all are welcome in a circle of blessing and belonging.

The meal makes it happen, not the music or the robes or the fancy words spoken over the bread and wine, not these but the simple gathering around a table where strangers and people to busy to notice each other become brothers and sisters joined into the Christ presence anyone of them can feel if they give it half a chance.

I prefer the simplest gatherings best. Easter blow-out services are wonderful, but the intimacy of a few people gathered around a table with wine and bread seems best to me, more natural to what we are doing.

Forty or so confirmation students and their teachers gather in the sanctuary around the table, the cup and a loaf at the center. I trip over myself telling them how special they are, how the Spirit of the Living One in-dwells them. All are quiet. Some listen

Then the words are said, “In the night Jesus was betrayed, he met with his friends. He wanted to be with them, just like we are are now … .”

The bread and cup are lifted, then shared. “The body of Christ for you… . The blood of Christ for you.

Empty hands are filled. Wounded hearts are touched. Students from half a dozen junior high schools become one circle of sharing where no one is any better or worse, richer or poorer, smarter or slower than anyone else.

They are alike, joined by their need and emptiness in one great sharing in the life of Christ who gives himself that they might have this moment of simple knowing, feeling the generosity and hunger of God to bless them and fill every empty place.

No one need tell them Christ is present. They know. And so do I. Their silence tells me. They feel it in this circle of receiving and blessing created by bread and wine.

Pr. David L. Miller