The Body of Christ Broken for You

The Eucharist - A Great Gift

The Eucharist – A Great Gift (Photo credit: Michael 1952)

The email came on Saturday evening while I was preparing dinner. My husband Peter was using my laptop and said, “An email from Eric [our pastor] just popped up.”

I replied, “To me, or a general email to the church?”

He came back with, “Something about he’s sorry for getting back with you so late?”

It seemed strange to me, because I hadn’t talked with our pastor or emailed him in a while, so when I found a stopping point, I went into the office to check my email.  Our pastor was asking me to help serve communion during whichever worship service we’d be attending.  I felt humbled and honored.  After all, I’d served communion in hospitals and to hospice patients in their homes, but never had I served it in church.

When it came time to serve the elements, I was paired with Pastor Eric, him serving the grape juice, me serving the bread.  During this service, worshipers walk to the front to receive the elements, and each person serving can choose whichever liturgy they want to speak as they serve.  I went with the traditional, “The body of Christ broken for you.”

It was important to me, as I offered the plate of bread to each worshiper, to make eye contact with them.  I registered the woman whose dis-ingenuousness bugs me more often than not.  “The body of Christ, broken for her.”  There was someone with whom I’d had a disagreement a couple of years ago.  “The body of Christ, broken for him.”  Of course, I had the joy of serving many friends, but serving those to whom I’m not particularly close – and, if I were to be honest, don’t particularly like – allowed the Holy Spirit through this simple repast to transform me.

You see, the body of Christ was broken for those I like and those I don’t like.  Jesus says in Matthew 5: 45 that God makes the sun shine on the good and evil alike, and God sends the rain on the good and the evil.  Isn’t that a humbling thought!  That neighbor you don’t like with the pretty flowers in their yard or the thriving garden?  God gives that person the things to make their plants thrive just as God does for us.

Then action follows message when Jesus had his Last Supper with his disciples.  He declared, “This bread is my body, broken for you.”  Soon after, his body was broken for all of us.  It doesn’t matter who we like and who we don’t like.  Truth of the matter is, the body of Christ was broken for all of us.

This truth shone anew for me today as I offered this element of the Lord’s Supper to my fellow travelers on this spiritual journey as we follow Christ together.  And as this simple truth shone, so did I.  This is good news!!!  The body of Christ was broken for all of us, and what joy there is in knowing that his brokenness heals ours.

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