Thursday, 1 November 2012

taking a fresh look at communion

U2’s song, “Vertigo,” has been much on my mind over the last two weeks. Bono imagines himself on a night out at a club of that name. The visual stimulus around him was having a negative effect on his spirit…dragging him down…pulling him away from what mattered...until he saw a girl with a cross around her neck. The sight of that cross had a deep impact on his mind and heart and altered his posture.
Bono was reminded through that symbol of the “stunning, beautiful and expansive love of God.” It captured his heart once again.
With that renewed awareness he is brought to his knees in worship.

If the sights and sounds around us have the potential to dazzle and tempt us, then we need to focus on that which will renew and inspire our faith.

Ordinary bread and wine (Communion) on a Sunday morning act as powerful visual stimuli that point to deeper realities. We “grasp and handle things unseen.” God, we are reminded, has loved us with an everlasting love and as a consequence we fellowship with those who are part of his new community.

The old Anglican “Book of Common Prayer” (1662) speaks into this moment of Communion (with God and one another) with real insight…

The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat in remembrance that Christ died for thee and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.

Look at the world differently because of what you see on the Communion table.

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