"...Jesus spoke a prayer of thanksgiving.
He broke the bread and said,
'This is my body, which is given for you.
Do this to remember me.'"
1 Corinthians 11:24 (God's Word)
It's happening again... He's revealing Himself to me through a common message. One that is echoing in my waking thoughts, whispered prayers and nighttime dreams. I see it on the page of books and colored petitions. I hear it in both the voice of the sage and the child.
Take * Thank * Break * Give
These words were a call to eucharistic living at a recent college retreat the Stig and I helped with. We watched as the simple act of slicing apples, boiling them with a bit of water and some cinnamon - drove the participants into the Stig's kitchen - the place where he shares the language of love through food. Loads of college students - cradling warm bowls of homemade applesauce, and a generous foaming of Redi-Whip, in cupped hands - whispering words of thanksgiving. The simple act of taking an apple, giving thanks for it, breaking it down - whirring it around an a blender - and giving it to hungry college students (who were the most appreciative group of people we've ever had the pleasure of working with!) was pure gift. I tucked those words away in my prayer journal (take/thank/break/give) - having wrapped doodles and sketches around these words as a benediction - an act of grateful thanks.
I felt led to suggest a book to my Wednesday morning Ladies Bible Study - not even sure why I was drawn to this particular book other than the title - One Thousand Gifts. Opening the pages we found the word "eucharisteo" used over and over again. A call to do just what it's Greek meaning charges, "to feel thankful, to be grateful, to give thanks." I love the way this book is wrecking us for what the world calls "normal living" - I find myself jotting down thanksgivings on the back of grocery store receipts, grabbing the camera to take a gratitude picture for the meal set before me... looking for the blessing in both the beautiful and the ugly. And my Wednesday morning Sistas - we come every week like wrung out dish rags, having wiped up the remains of the day - looking forward to the promise of being rinsed out by a gracious Savior... hallelujah!
The Body of Christ... take it Sewiously *
I was helping "A" clean her room - she was sporting a tutu (as usual) and I was toting a trash bag (doing a bit of Spring culling, if you will.) She was working in the home center - that's what she calls the little kitchen in her room, mainly because that's what they call it at school. Picking up a small plastic poppy seed roll, she turned to me and said in a "vewry" grown up way, "The body of Christ... take it Sewioulsy!" Somewhere along the way, one of us, either the Stig or I, must have told her it was serious... but we missed the mark. We should have told her, "Take and remember. Take and give thanks. Take and break so that you also can give." The great thing about parenting... is knowing that God is the only perfect parent. There's lots of room for grace. So next Sunday if the Lessner's linger at the rail awhile - you know why. We're taking advantage of a teachable moment... with a teachable child. And praying that we too may be More like Him... and less like ourselves!