“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.” – John 6:53-57
My Fellows year so far has been fraught with upheaval. The past Fellows certainly weren’t kidding when they said that this would be a season of unexpected hardship, incredible growth, and new life. One area of my life where the Lord has grown my heart is in the experience of the Eucharist at St. George’s Episcopal Church, the church where I am placed.
I went to a wonderful, Spirit-filled church in college, but felt inadequate when there were times that I did not seem to feel the Holy Spirit in the way that others around me did. I had definite experiences of the Spirit, but lamented when those experiences were not continuous.
Communion has always played a role in my life, but up until my recent involvement with the Episcopal Church, I never fully embraced the meaning behind it.
A parishioner at St. George’s described the Eucharist to me as the most refreshing part of her day. She says that she feels that she actually gets to physically hold Christ in her hands, the shadow of an embrace that she will never fully know until she passes from this world, or the new heaven and earth come in glory. Knowing this, she holds onto the wafer of bread for as long as she possibly can before receiving the wine, savoring every moment.
I have come to share her view in the past couple of months in emotional and transformative ways. The thought that I can touch and encounter my Savior is both humbling and exhilarating; because I do nothing except receive in the process. I reach to Him in prayer and supplication and He reaches back through His gift of sacrament.
The Eucharist is a mirror of the grace and love of Christ here on earth, because regardless of your condition when you come to the table, the Holy Spirit meets you there. At the table, there is an eternal reminder that God overcomes all boundaries in Christ, and is ardently chasing after us, His prodigal children. We do not just embrace Christ when we partake in the heavenly meal, we touch the very fabric of our salvation, and the insurmountable cross of victory, healed by it when we choose to accept it.
I have been healed, refreshed, renewed, and challenged by the Eucharist. It brings me to tears and quiets my soul, making me think about the explicit makeup of my faith. I never imagined that the Lord would move this greatly within me during this Fellows year, and as we are just over two months into the program, I can only imagine how He will continue to grow me. All I know is that after coming to the great wedding feast, I will never be the same. We remember His death, we proclaim His resurrection, and we await His coming in glory.