Round About

Keeping the Supper faithfully is not a matter of jinning up holy feelings. It is not a matter of introspection, figuring out a hundred and one reasons why you ought not to be partaking. Neither is it a summons to theological logic-chopping, where you try to figure out what happens to the bread and why, and what happens to the wine and how.

This moment is the time that God has assigned for us to be knit together with our brothers and sisters, not only here, but throughout the world, and throughout all history. We are called to discern the body as we partake. That the participle, in the act of partaking, we discern that we have a people, and that for these others, we are a people. The principle of organization is the mysterious call of God, and most emphatically not the sort of friends we would naturally have picked on our own.

Look around you. The glory of the Christian church is that it is not a club, where the members are bound by a shared interest in books, or quilting, or hunting. Those are all wonderful in their place, but they are too small for this. That which binds us together is not a subset of our lives, but is rather the principle of life itself. We are a subset of that life.

This is what we are enacting as we partake of the bread of life, and as we drink the wine of the new covenant. The life is in the blood, recall, and so we are coming here to that life. Life encompasses us round about, and we have all been quickened, brought to life. That is our shared interest.