Friday, May 18, 2007

Did I make this up?

In an email to a friend, I said that when we sit at the communion rail and accept the body and blood of Christ into ourselves, we are connected, through Him, to all other Christians for all of eternity.

I said it again to my dear former UU minister, Steve, at lunch today. In that case, I was talking about the fact that the potential schism in the Episcopal church was not the whole story. There is much to hope for. I suggested that ultimately, when we take communion together, we are in communion with each other through Christ. Christ, who heals all wounds.

Did I make this up? Or did something I read somewhere sink in? I don't know. Someone quote some scripture at me!

More and more I am experiencing a sense of Christ's ability to transcend time and location, especially in the Eucharist.

Speaking of Steve:

He is off to a new church in Eugene, OR this summer. I admitted that I was sad he was going because even though I have left my UU church, there is a part of me that doesn't want it to change in my absence. I want it to be just as I left it, nearly two years ago. Isn't that funny?

Steve has been an important part of my spiritual journey. It was he who baptized me 4 years ago. I feel grateful to him.


Go with your servant, Steve. Help him be a good minister to his new church. Let him continue to be a light in the lives of those he encounters.... as he has been in mine.


Anonymous said...

You didn't make it up! I'm sure you hear it affirmed each week - this is the communion of saints, some of whose anems are even read inthe episcopal church if my memory is accurate. Here's a verse for you:
1 Corinthians 10
16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
(Of course you should check the context to make sure I'm not selling you snake oil!)

The World Council of Churches (WCC) produced a huge document called, "Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry" (BEM) that was a result of trying to present a unified idea of what these concepts means. While the WCC may not have been successful in terms of creating more unity through this study, BEM has produced volumes of feedback about the many aspects of these concepts. You might enjoy looking some of it over, check the WCC website for some great free resources.

I delight in the idea that while we cannot agree on the Lord's Supper,
there is someone who has it all figured out.


Rachel's Big Dunk said...

So that's where I got it from, LOL.

I think, after a year and a half of weekly communion, the whole thing might be starting to sink in.

Part of what is wonderful and Holy about the Eucharist is, for me, the fact that it is so unexplainable. It is a miracle, really.

Mother Laura said...

Yes, you are right on. I am trying to get started on my Corpus Christi sermon for 3 weeks from tomorrow, the week after Trinity Sunday. That feast, now known as "Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ" started in the Middle Ages to honor the Eucharist but I will be trying to weave that together with other meanings of the Body of Christ: the Christian community and the poor and suffering, in whom Jesus said he is hidden and served...

I am glad that you still have a good relationship with your former UU minister. How do they do baptisms? Didn't even know they did. Not in the name of the Trinity, I assume, or you wouldn't have been baptized again as an Episcopalian.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Hi Mother Laura,

I describe my baptism with Steve here:

As you say, it was not in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but within a couple of days, I found myself, inexplicably, a Trinitarian. Later, when I described this event to my priest at Grace, he felt that it was not ordinary, but valid. However, I asked to be conditionally baptized because I wanted the trinitarian language. I was confirmed at the same service, so it was pretty powerful!

Steve had never done a baptism before... and I am pretty sure he hasn't done another one since! LOL.

I still have a great relationship with Steve. My leaving the UU denomination, and my congregation, in particular, was not about what I was leaving behind, but rather what I was being called to. I was being called to the beautiful body of Christ.

And so, here am I.

Mary Beth said...

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Holy Communion is a table that stretches back and back and back, through time and space, to our loved ones gone ahead, to the saints, and to the Maundy Thursday table itself. We are all connected. In Him we are One Body and One Blood.

Mother Laura said...

Thanks Rachel for sharing--finally got back to read it after your great FF! Now I'm going to go read that post.

I love how you talk about being called to and not from: the mark of healthy convert zeal that is positive and joyous (not always the case).

Happy happy Pentecost! Let the fire fall!

Ming said...

Also check out verses 3 and 4 of Hymn # 305