“Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’” Mark 14:22
Being relatively fresh from a wonderful 3-month sabbatical, I’m still reflecting on the teachings of Henri Nouwen. He was a Dutch priest who celebrated ‘the Mass’ daily and did a lot of thinking about it. He understood the actions of communion – took, thanked, broke, gave – as applying not only to Jesus, but to us his followers.
We have been ‘taken’ by Jesus, chosen for his purposes. He receives us with joy, ‘thanking’ the Father for us, the beloved. He continually intercedes for us all according to the will of God. Next comes the tough part.
We are ‘broken’ under the gentle, watchful, careful eyes of our Saviour. We all come to Christ with a certain amount of ingrained callousness, arrogance, self-centredness, intolerance and the like. Christ calls it ‘hardness of heart’. He allows and directs life to happen with its losses, disappointments, failures and sorrows so that our hard shell cracks. This shell needs to be broken that the sweet nature of Christ may pour through us.
Last of all, we are ‘given’ out to the world. We are the ‘salt of the earth’, the ‘light of the world’, ‘ambassadors for Christ’, ‘sheep among wolves’ and ‘the body of Christ’. We are now engaged in his mission of love – to restore his creation.
As we prepare to share in the Lord’s Supper once again on October 9th here is some food for thought. Please come and join us. Hope to see you then.
In Christ’s love,