Friday, December 28, 2007

Communion with fruit from the promised land

anticipating the nearly-with-us new year (a time for considering the future/past/present), here's the notes i made for a recent eucharist at one of our high st gatherings...

We have heard today about the importance of our being more than sentimental memory keepers. We are encouraged by the writers of the New Testament to be far more ambitious in our remembering. We are called to believe that these times of ritual and celebration are in fact moments when the future world God is making – the Kingdom of God – comes into the present.

The future fullness of God’s re-made world penetrates our time and space, affirming the story of God’s work through history and all the while, remaking us. We are invited to taste the goodness of a world re-made by God, a world that has gone through the trauma and struggle of re-birth. As we gather in this way and eat in this way we are like midwives to new creation - to each other’s rebirth and to the coming kingdom.

In the Passover – the meal where Jesus taught us these things - Hebrew people don’t just recall past history. Instead, they enter into the reality that they are exodus people freed from slavery. This Eucharist meal calls us Jesus followers to that same awareness– we are the people, this is the night! So, at the same time we are here in Lexington, gathered as the people of God, we are also the disciples in that upper room, and last, but not least, we are also the heirs of the kingdom, gathered to eat the messianic banquet in the new heaven and the new earth. Past, Present, and Future.

In Numbers(13:17ff), when the children of Israel are still on the border of the Promised Land, Moses sends spies to check things out.

“Moses sent them to spy out the land…he told them to be bold and bring some of the fruit of the land …grapes, pomegranates, and figs.”

Can you imagine the people of God as they first tasted the fruit of the land they would someday soon call their own? Grape juice coursing down smiling faces. As we pass the cup and the bread, and as we gather to eat together, can we also dare to expect that we are indeed tasting the goodness of food from the celebration feast hosted by Jesus - our brother and our God?


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