Eucharist and Lent

I am a mere Christian who is seeking and learning what it means to call Jesus Lord and Savior, to really believe Jesus died for my sins and what it means to really follow Jesus. I believe everyone who accepts and trusts Jesus is welcome at the table of Jesus. I find great power and meaning in partaking of the bread and wine.

We should not put barriers between Jesus and the people who need the love and grace that have been lavished on us. The only barrier set before the communion table of Our Lord and everyone is their willingness to trust Jesus. Jesus opens the gate. Anyone willing to receive Jesus is welcome.

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 person and work of Jesus. Jesus was broken and blessed for the whole world. We, his followers are to be the very same thing today. The church needs to reconnect to its original subversive vocation and dissident purpose to be the light of the world with the glory of God. The bread and wine are symbols of very real and very present reality of God at work in the world making the world the kind of place where God is in charge.

Jesus invites all. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11)

The purpose of our life is not to wallow in our sin, but extend God’s impartiality to everyone. When life is easier and less burdensome, when we are more aware of people than things, and when we are more prayerful, loving, and hopeful and less engrossed in our shortcomings than we are more in touch with God’s goodness.

Two dates we have no choice in are our birth and death. I have no power over either one. I can only influence what the line between means. What I do with the little line is up to, but God empowers me to be all that I ought to be or I can choose to let it come to nothing. God values how we spend our life. He wants us to live a good life. He wants us to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others, as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6) We should live our lives in such a way that we reflect Jesus and when our last day comes those who remain will be both saddened and joyful for our departure.

This life is not always joyful some events are not happy. Bad things happen to each of us—we lose our jobs, fail classes, lose a friend or relative to death or stupid choices we or they make, we get hurt, get sick, conflict arises. Many things befall both good, bad, sometimes between the two. It is not what happens to us, but how we deal with what happens. How we live our life between the two dates that will matter the most. Being a Christian doesn’t make us immune to the bad, but it does help us cope with it and it should shape how we respond to the good. I would like to see more Christians take up the call to love everyone. To sow love where there is hatred, as the St. Francis prayer says.

We are not to seek status. Jesus was more concerned about relationships and bringing the good news than what others thought of him. We are to live in peace and harmony as much as possible. Sometimes this will be possible, other times not. Some will enjoy our company. Others will be bent on hurting us. Yet, no matter who we encounter, we are to show love and seek to what is right. There will be times when what is right doesn’t seem like the most loving thing, but we do what is right because we love them. The beauty of kindness trumps the logic of argument.

The good and bad flow together, without one, we wouldn’t know the other. Yet, there will come a time when every tear will be wiped away and we will have heaven on earth. While, we leave in the broken world we must face the bad with the good and the good with the bad. We trust that all of it will be blessing, because we follow the one who loved us so much to forsake heaven to restore, renew, and reconcile the world to what it should be.

I pray that each partaking of the bread and wine will bring us closer and closer to living as Jesus did and that I express and extend the love and grace that God has lavished on me. May each of us come to the table of Jesus not for what it will give us, but for what we can and will share with others. God loves us, but that is only where it begins. We are invited to the table of Jesus, but that is only the beginning. Let’s partake of the bread and wine and then take the Eucharist with us into the world.

Grace and Peace

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