Eucharist And The Love Of God

This is my second meditation on the meaning and importance of the Eucharist. I thought I would speak about how the love of God is present in this liturgical act.

In this ritual of remembrance, we touch the heart of God through accepting the grace offers in the bread and wine.

In the Eucharist we remember, acknowledge, discover, and embrace our true reality—the Kingdom of God. We throw our lot in with Jesus who is the bread of life. In The Message Jesus say in John 6: “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me. This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.”

Real life is found in Jesus. In the Eucharist, the presence of the God comes near. By accepting the bread and wine, we recommit to following Jesus.  The love of God is present in a real way in this ritual not just in the bread and wine, but also in the motions taken, prayers offered, our response to, and the aftereffects of it. By taking communion, we are unified in the body of Christ and are able to let the bread and wine nourish us in such a way that we can extend the limitless and uncondiotnal love and grace of God to others.

Brother David Steindl-Rast gives us important instructions when he advises us to “love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise- then you will discover the fullness of your life.”  Sufi poet Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  

Love is what God offers. love is the purpose of communion. Love is the proper response to the Eucharist. When we understand these truths than we will be able to see why we take communion and why it is so sacred. Not the bread or wine, but the proclamation of love is what makes the rite of communion so very important.

A Yiddish Saying: “You may try a hundred things, but love alone will release you from yourself. So never flee from love–not even from love in an earthly guise–for it is a preparation for the supreme Truth.”  

The supreme truth is that God is love and that God loves you not as you are but as you should be! Brenan Manning said that and he said, “My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.”

The Eucharist reminds us how amazing and great is the love of God for you. God forsook heaven incarnated on earth, born in a cold, lonely manger lived the life of a homeless mystic and died on a cross weeping and forgiving not because he was having a bad day or for fun, but because he loved you! Yes You! You reading this! God died for you! God died on a cross to reconcile all of creation with his kingdom, because the supreme truth is God loves you! Yes you! Yes!

As, I wrote that last paragraph I had to force myself not to breakdown from the awesomeness of the love of God for us. If you doubt God’s love for you just read that paragraph again. Let it soak in. If you still doubt, read the parable of the prodigal and picture yourself in the shoes of the prodigal. Know that God is chasing after. He wants you back! He died for that to happen.

Today, as I partook of the bread and wine I felt the presence of my Lord and Savior and knew that He loves me beyond reason, beyond doubt. My hope is for each person, believer and non-believer alike to grasp the amazing and awesome love God has for you.

Know that God loves you not as you but as you should be!

John 6: Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (NIV)

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1 Comment

  1. Robby, I didn’t find in either of your Eucharist blogs a statement about the appropriateness of the “open” Communion table. In other words, serving Communion to anyone who approaches irrespective of their denomination affiliation (or lack thereof). This is a significant theological question – Christians have been wrangling with it for 2000 years and both the East-West Schism and the Protestant Reformation were partly inspired by controversies surrounding Eucharist.

    What is your current position on open Communion? If you haven’t read the Lima Document on Eucharist, you might find it interesting.

    Thank you for another thoughtful blog!

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