Saturday, July 18, 2009

A transformed community...

When we gather around the table and break the bread together, we are transformed not only individually but also as community. We, people from different ages and races, with different backgrounds and histories, become one body. As Paul says: "As there is one loaf, so we, although there are many of us, are one single body, for we all share in the one loaf" (1 Corinthians 10:17).

Not only as individuals but also as community we become the living Christ, taken, blessed, broken, and given to the world. As one body, we become a living witness of God's immense desire to bring all peoples and nations together as the one family of God.

Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey
I have been groping around these last couple of days trying to find words for what Nouwen has nailed here. This is what I was trying to say!


Sue said...

I see :) He says it well.

We do need those tangible threads to connect us, don't we? Otherwise there is so much to divide us.

I have a question for you, being of the Anglican persuasion. The church I go to occasionally to do Christian meditation is an Anglican church and we meditate before the "blessed sacrament" which is this, like, gold ... thing, I don't know if it is representational of the cross, or what. But the Father opens up the back of it and puts somethign in there before we start, and afterwards he takes it out again. Do you have any idea what I am talking about? It all seems very mysterious to me.

Mike Farley said...

Yes, Sue, I do know what you're talking about! Must be a fairly Anglo-Catholic church you go to.

What you're meditating before is not the gold thingy - a monstrance it's called, and it can be like a Cross with sun rays, or any of several other designs - but what's inside. That something the priest puts in the back is a consecrated wafer: the Bread of life, the Body of Christ, as in, "take, eat, this is my body..." Normally there's a little crystal window through which you can glimpse the bread.

If you Google "monstrance" you'll find quite a decent Wikipedia article, and some images, that make the whole thing a lot clearer than I have ;-) If you follow the link at the bottom of the Wikipedia article to "Eucharistic adoration" you'll what's going on in your meditation, and why some Christians, especially the more consciously Protestant ones, don't like the idea much!

Between ourselves, I have always found the Adoration incredibly moving and awesome, and I wish it were more common in our Anglican churches!