The Community Of The Eucharist
N. T. Wrights says that the vision of the Church’s calling is “to be the means through which Jesus continues to work and to teach, to establish his sovereign rule on earth as in heaven.”
The Eucharist, I believe both unites us as a body of believers, but also compels us to share and extend the love and grace of God found in Jesus Christ. This means that as the church we should be living our lives to point to Jesus and His Kingdom coming even when we are not using precise words. Our lives should astonish those around in such a way we cause a scandal and others wonder how we could live in such a way. By partaking of the bread and wine, we commit to the way of Jesus not merely for our personal transformation and salvation, but to be the people of God, it is both personal and communal.
Let me say something about that term people of God. To be the people of God does not mean that you know what God wants for everyone that how you live your life is the way God wants everyone else to live. God made all of us, all of creation. There is massive diversity in nature and that should point to the fact that there should be diversity in humans and in the body of Christ. God created all of us to be the people of God and I do not think that God wants us to conform to one simple mold of what it means to be human and Christian. Each of us is unique and it is in this uniqueness that makes us a gift of God, a blessing to one another.
Jesus showed us in his life, death, and resurrection what it means to be fully realized human beings. Namely we love everyone, forgive always, never judge, look for the best in each person, heal the sick, guide the lost, include the excluded, speak out against injustice, never seek revenge, and serve the least. Jesus used his life and his teachings to point his listeners and disciples to what it looks like when God is in charge. God’s Kingdom, God’s rule is not of this world because God’s way his so different to how things are done normally that it cannot be compared to earthly kingdoms and rules.
N. T. Wright writes, “Worship should create a community that marches to a different beat, that keeps in step with a different Lord. It is this vocation that gives the church courage to stand up in the face of bullying self-appointed masters of the world, to resist them when they are forcing their communities to go in the wrong way, while at the same time demonstrating, in its own life, that there is a different way of being human, a way pioneered and now made possible by Jesus himself.”
The Eucharist is the time we come to the table of Jesus and remember who he is, what he did, how we are saved, what it means to the people of God and where we are headed in and through the work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus was broken and blessed to be a blessing to the whole world and we, his followers are to be the very same thing today. The church needs to reconnect to its original vocation and purpose and light the world on fire through the glory of God. The bread and wine are symbols of very real very present reality of God at work in the world making the world the kind of place where God really is in charge.
The Eucharist as well as the church is meant to go beyond the moment and place where it is shared. As we participate in the remembering of Jesus, we acknowledge that Our Lord is different, our life is different, and our identity is found in and through the Kingdom of God. We are God’s people not for our sake alone but to be a blessing to the world. How this works I do not know. Yet, as I partake of the bread and wine, praying God to take hold of my life guide my steps and lead me where He grants that I go I feel real power and presence in this ritual of remembrance.
As you partake of the bread and wine, may you feel the presence and power of God’s spirit at work in you in your life and may God guide your steps in this world and towards the next.
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