Eucharist and Resurrection
The Eucharist is a way of renewing my commitment to Christ and His Church. A way of saying I have been adopted into the family of God to show outwardly, what has been and continues to occur inwardly in my life. It is a profound way of saying I am a Jesus follower. I partake of the bread and wine because I stumble sometimes I fall flat on my face and need the love of the amazing savior we have; I partake of the bread and wine because I don’t always know how to live and need a wonderful Lord to show the way. Jesus fulfills both of those roles and so much more. Jesus is the truth, light, the resurrection and the life if we believe in him we will live, even if we die; and by living by trusting Jesus, we will never die.
In The Eucharist, 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 on the cross. 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. Real life is found in Jesus alone. In the Eucharist, the presence of the God comes near. By accepting the bread and wine, we recommit to following Jesus. Jesus who suffered on the cross died and raised three days later to new life; He now bids that we come and die to be born to new life. By taking communion, we unify as the body of Christ and are able to let the bread and wine nourish us in such a way that we can invite others to new life in and with God.
The first thing Jesus says after resurrection don’t hang on to me, then he says to spread the news about what has happened. Spread the news that a new day has come, God has begun a new thing a new way to come unto God has been made and through it all of creation will be reconciled to God. The good news that love and grace embodied in Jesus is offered to all no matter who they are God loves them. Jesus doesn’t want us on our knees He loves us into our better self so that we can follow his lead in showing the world his love and grace. The New Testament tells us that life after Jesus is different and this different is good. That God is good and all are called to come and see.
The life we are living here and now matters and it will stretch on beyond the grave through Jesus we have been gifted with eternal life beginning now and going forward. The Later God will handle. The now is where we need to be. We should live our lives with one foot in this world and the other in the Kingdom. Things are not the same. Things aren’t as they were. Life is not static. I cannot change the past. I must move into the future, the future that God has for me. I do not believe that my best years are behind me, but ahead of me. I am done wishing I could change the past to change the things I did wrong. I am at peace with my past—the good, bad, and indifferent.
If you have suffered a break up, a broken heart, a lost a loved one know that these things happen to everyone and God can and will use these relational crashes to bless our future. I believe the bad things, even the worst when we don’t know or if we can go on will make us more compassionate and able to experience the good that comes our way too. I don’t know why we suffer. I do know that we can know. I intend to allow my suffering to serve my future as a blessing.
I believe in the God who doesn’t waste anything. I can choose to let my hurts and wounds cripple and deform me or I can let it transform me into my best self, into the new person offered freely in Christ Jesus. Each of us has a choice when heartbreak tears all our plans apart to shrivel and become bitter or to let it shape us to let it make us better than we used to be. When we choose to let it make us better than we will truly see what God’s grace really, really means. In our worst moments God is there beckoning us to a new day.
The Eucharist offers us a glimpse at that new way of being. In partaking of the bread and wine, we consume a bit of the divine heart at the center of the universe and step closer to aligning our whole life to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Eucharist meal helps us realize that our salvation is not just about our individual concerns about forming a community of humble, Christ-like, God glorifying disciples. As novelist Dean Koontz writes, “None of us can ever save himself; we are the instruments of one another’s salvation, and only by the hope that we give to others do we lift ourselves out of the darkness into light.”
We can be a living Eucharist. This idea appeals to my idea and hope that Christianity can and should be lived and not merely talked about or believed in. I believe that God gives us as a gift to the world. We are not to shout at people about sin and hell or bash people with the bible, but be living examples of what a Christian is and should be, letting the bible be the mirror we gaze at to inform our life and faith. We don’t do this on our own or for our salvation. God working in and through us that makes us examples of the Kingdom of God for a world that is perishing. Rob Bell writes, “Salvation is the entire universe being brought back into harmony with its maker. Your deepest, darkest sins and your shameful secrets are simply irrelevant when it comes to the counterintuitive, ecstatic announcement of the gospel. So are your goodness, your rightness, your church attendance, and all of the wise, moral, mature decisions you have made and actions you have taken.”
Frederick Buechner voices a question each of us must ponder, “And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself. Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars, just this: that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?”
Grace and Peace