Sunday, October 09, 2005


Or a bit of one at least, thanks to a lovely service last night.

In the sermon, our homilitician talked about feasting (our readings from Isaiah and Matthew, you may recall, are focused on feasts offered by a king). And she said something that really stuck with me: she said that the Eucharist tells us everything we need to know about God.

That is something I need to ponder for a while. But what immediately struck me is that the God of the Eucharist, of the sacrificial meal, is a very different sort of God than that of most other religions. The aspects of God revealed by the Christian Eucharist are perhaps uncomfortable for those of other faiths - but they are central for us.

And I remembered that I love this God - this Jesus - who would be this sacrificial, so consumed with love for us that he would let us kill him to get the point across.

Then during the communion we did a liturgy from the English prayer book, and it contained a repetition of this antiphon:
This is our story.
This is our song.
Hosanna in the highest.

And I remembered that this is my story - I am, for better or worse, a part of the Christian story, I am swimming along (drowning sometimes) in the great river of the Christian saints, immersed in the tale that God is weaving that concerns God's Christian followers.

And I need to own my story. I need to stop being ashamed of it and realize that I too have something to bring to the table. I am a vital part of the story - that is, I as a part of the body am.

J and I talked about sacramental things on the way home. About how the body of Christ is really two things: it's the Church and it's also the Eucharist. But when the people ingest the Eucharist (the body) we become the Church (the body). The Body makes us the Body. Which is why "We are all one body because we all partake of one bread and one cup."

And I shared with him about a wonderful image I read in my Liturgical Theology reader, the idea that when Christ was pierced on the cross, the blood that flowed was the Cup of Eucharist and the water that flowed was that of Baptism, and in that moment the Church was birthed from that sacred side, as Eve was taken from Adam's side. I love this image - I love the idea of our birth in pain and blood and water and agony - the agony of God Godself producing God's special people on earth.

So we do have something - not everything, others still can have things we don't know - but we do have something about God that others do not know, or may not know. It's important to let them know, isn't it? It's important to share this sacrificial aspect of God, this love, this grace, that is possibly unique to our faith. If we all share what we know, perhaps we can get a more complete picture of God.

But of course, we cannot know everything, which is what I've always liked about God, especially the God of my Anglo-Catholic faith. Humans are inadequate to conceive of the richness of God's person. But God shares with us anyway, whatever we'd like to learn, what our little minds can handle. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And Blessed be God's Kingdom, now and forever, Amen.

No comments: