Hello Church Devotion Aug 5, 2013

E is for "Eucharist"

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:16-17 ESV)

“Karl, get dressed.” “Karl, get dressed and come downstairs.” “Karl, get dressed and come downstairs and eat your breakfast.” “Karl, it’s almost time to leave for school, and you know that you need to eat in order to stay alert and learn.” Ah, the memories. I imagine that you have some of your own as well.

As I was growing up, breakfast was a given. My mother was convinced that, without it, my brain would wither up and die on the vine. And there was no way she was going to be held accountable for that happening to her son. That accounts for my addiction to maple syrup noted in yesterday’s devotion.

Growing up in a pastor’s home, spiritual food was also a given. Regular prayers, regular worship, regular SundaySchool attendance. And, as I came close to the end of my eighth grade year of school, regular participation in Holy Communion. (I didn’t even know the word “Eucharist” existed at that point in time.) Because, without the spiritual food, my soul/spirit would wither and die on the vine. And there was no way my parents were going to be held accountable for that happening to their son.

And all of this tells us what? Simply put - we need to feed our bodies, our minds, our psyches, and our spirits if we’re going to be healthy. When it comes to the Eucharist, we’re feeding all of them - but with the most amazing food in the universe. Think “manna” was special? Think about our text above. When we eat the bread and drink the cup in the Eucharist, we are participating in the body and the blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ - not because of some “magic” that the pastor does or says, but because Jesus promised that when we did this, he would be present in, with, and under the form of the elements of Holy Communion.

He feeds our bodies - very few calories, in fact. He feeds our minds - challenges us to look at the bread and say “This IS the body of Christ”; to look at the cup and say “This IS the blood of Christ.” He feeds our psyches - affirming us and who we are by his willingness to become a part of us. And he feeds our spirits - forgiving our sin, assuring us of his presence in our lives, and empowering us to go into the world and live as his redeemed people in this time and this place. Earlier in I Corinthians, Paul writes: But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. (1Corinthians 6:17 ESV)

Reading and studying Scripture is important. Prayer and meditation is important. Attending worship services is important. They all feed our spirits. But nothing can feed us as totally as the Eucharist - as we as the children of God hear his holy Word and gather ‘round the table of the Lord, where we will, indeed, be given the ability - all through our lives - to sing a song of love. Alleluia!

And that’s why we pray:

Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest;

and may your gifts to us be blessed. Amen.

Rev. Karl J. Dunker, Pastor Emeritus

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