“A desire for communion has been part of you since you were born. The pain of separation…you continue to experience, now, reveals to you this deep hunger. All of your life you have searched for a communion that would break your fear of death. This desire is sincere. Don’t look on it as an expression of your neediness or symptom of your neurosis. It comes from God and is part of your true vocation. Communion is your authentic desire, and it will be given to you.But you have to dare to trust that your deepest longing will be fulfilled. Dare to lose your life and you will find it. Trust in Jesus words: “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)
-Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love
On Tuesday, Communion at lunch with a Sister, when we didn’t know how much we needed that. When we didn’t know how much pent up sorrow and confusion there was. When we didn’t know that everything would be different and how hard that would be sometimes. When we didn’t know that everything would be different but now it’s better than ever. When we find that His body was broken so that we might live reconciled here. When eating together in the sunshine brings more laughter and tears and truth and love and mystery and understanding than anything else we’ve done in months. Do this in remembrance of Me.
On Tuesday evening, Communion again with a great friend who reminds me how to break the bread. How to pour out my wine–my own blood in the death of my flesh– as a drink offering. When we see Communion for the Ebenezer that it is. When my friend reveals to me that the unfulfilled longing for Communion is a place of pain I’ll always carry, but that it’s where I enter the sufferings of Christ. That each time communion is broken, I must remember this is the Father and the Son’s pain, too. Then we drink the wine to remember that resurrection always follows suffering and death. New life flows, but we can’t have it without the suffering first. When I take communion, I take part of the body that was broken to break me free from the fear that binds. I drink the blood that washes me clean of my unbelief. The bread and the cup are now forms that mean everything. Do this in remembrance of Me.
I went looking for a better anchor, so that I was more prepared when the Enemy swamped the boat next time. This weekend, the ship almost sank.Captain and crew nearly thrown overboard by waves of accusation, division, and deceit from the Enemy. We made it to the other shore, but we are still soaked and bedraggled. But a better anchor–a verse, a memory, a habit–wouldn’t have stopped the storm. We needed Jesus for that. We needed to go together to wake Him up when we were afraid. We needed to enter together the presence of the One who could stop the storm. We needed to stop and pray. We need to run together to the table to break the bread and take the broken body into our own because it broke us free from the shackles of division and accusation. We needed to see we were drinking from the same cup. On Wednesday, at lunch, we, sisters, resolve to do this. To come together next time. Do this in remembrance of Me.
On Wednesday evening, when I had a meal and prayed with a friend, offering and receiving encouragement like at that Final Dinner. In this world, we will have trouble. Take Heart. He has overcome the world. On Wednesday night, when the sharing of quirky favorites is a delightful surprise–a spontaneous adventure that keeps me smiling the next day. Delight, Surprise, Adventure and Spontaneity that are signs of Life and the One who made it. Communion when, as I reclined and rested, I looked across the table to find two other friends also feasting on the familiar. Do ALL THIS in remembrance of me.
Communion today, Thursday, when a Brother meets me for lunch. We enter the Holy Mystery of it all together: the mystery of how so much brokenness can still bring life and healing. The mystery of how it will all turn out. The mystery of having all that we need and never feeling like it–of eating the Bread of Life and still being hungry. Where we wash each others feet with encouragement, humility, and transparency. Where, despite the odds and circumstances and scripts that should prove otherwise, despite all that bristles, we know to our core that we are on the same side and for each other. Where how it all works–sin, atonement, and salvation–how it all works is a mystery to us, but we know that at the table and at the Cross there is love and grace enough to cover all the words we have left to say and all the work we have left to do. Do this in remembrance of me.
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