Every time we gather around the Lord’s table we hear the same four verbs over and over again: take, bless, break, share:
Jesus took bread / blessed it / broke it / and shared it
Jesus took wine / blessed it / poured it / and shared it
That’s the shape of the eucharist, and that’s the shape of the Christian life:
- to take our very lives and offer them to those around us
- to turn our lives into a blessing for others rather than an ego trip for ourselves
- to say Amen to being broken and used, to consent to our energies being uncorked and poured out to quench the thirst of others
- and to see every good thing we have ever received in life as a gift to be given away rather than stored up for ourselves.
Taken, blessed, broken, poured out and shared. It sounds like a lifetime’s work, and how much headway have you or I made?
Saying ‘Amen’ at the altar rail is easy. Saying ‘Amen’ to becoming communion for the world – to be taken, blessed, broken, poured out and shared is a much harder matter.
But glory be to him who at this table gives us a new start! Glory be to him who goes on offering himself to us even when we don’t return the favour! Glory be to him who always feeds us, despite the crumbs we offer in return! Glory be to him, who today at this table can turn you and me into people who, day by day, communion by communion, can bridge the gap between what we receive and who we are. Glory be to him, whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we could ever think, hope, dream or imagine. Glory be to him in the Church and in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Extracted from a sermon preached by Michael Paterson at St Margaret’s on 29 July 2018
Our readings were 2 Kings 4.42–44, Ephesians 3.14–21 and John 6.1–21