Posted by: Terry | June 2, 2017

Sanity found in Eucharist, Prayer, and tea

5143372942_4932a9a8ed_zFor my part, I know that all the great moments of my day are found in the incomparable hours that I spend on my knees in darkness before the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am, so to speak, swallowed up in God and surrounded on all sides by his presence. I would like to belong now to God alone and to plunge into the purity of his love. And yet, I can tell how poor I am, how far from loving the Lord as he loved me to the point of giving himself up for me. Robert Cardinal Sarah

When I was young, in my teens, we “took communion” once a month. It was a solemn time where the deacons would join the pastor at the front of the church to pass out silver plates with minuscule bites of unleavened bread, followed with silver trays that held small glasses of grape juice. We were admonished to seek out any dark hidden sin that would make us unworthy to partake of the body and blood of Christ, though there was never an iota of insinuation that the cracker and grape juice were anything more than a dim representation  of the actual body and blood of Christ. Then, when the elements were distributed, the pastor instructed us to eat, and drink, in remembrance of Jesus.

I have warm memories of those times, yet they held none of the wonder that is expressed in Robert Cardinal Sarah’s quote above. Yet over a period of almost forty years I was transformed. It started in Port Angeles, Washington when I was the youth pastor at the Independent Bible Church. I began to explore the symbolism of the bread and the wine, what Christ’s broken flesh and shed blood really meant. Most of my old Bibles have charts written in them breaking this all down. For many years I would meditate on these ideas when we took communion, it helped give the observance substance.

These last few years it has become powerfully clear to me that for most of the the church’s history Communion, or Eucharist, was the heart of worship. Christians from the earliest days were obsessed with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior so they renewed their faith and commitment weekly, even daily for many. Most of my life the center of worship was the sermon.

This last year I have started to go to a  church where the Sacrifice of Jesus my Lord and Savior is celebrated each Sunday. It has transformed my life. Sundays, and the quiet moments each day when I am immersed in the Daily Prayers, are the “great moments of my day.” For a brief time the craziness of the world with its hate and fear are shut out. It is me with God, my Father, my Savior, my comforting Holy Spirit,all having tea together. If only for a moment there is sanity in the world.

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