We come to this table longing for wholeness, and we come to this table because wholeness is offered to us here, and given to us freely and powerfully.
Here two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name and we find him in our midst as broken body and shed blood – and so we remember and experience that wholeness is found only through and on this way of brokenness, in the midst of our mess and our flaws, our pain and our shortcomings, our fears and our failures, all held and met by a love beyond words. We come here to an earthy, tangible offering – flesh and blood, grain of the earth and fruit of the vine – and we come in our earthy humanness, in all our frailty and wonder. We come as we are and find ourselves loved as we are.
Here we remember that we are whole not because we have it all together or have no broken pieces, not because we know it all or get it all right or belong to the best group. We are whole because we have been given a new centre, Jesus Christ, around which to revolve – the one that sets us free from our own limited concerns and that holds all our pieces together in love. And we believe that one day all our pieces will be brought together into a new and glorious whole. So we come to this table to offer again all those pieces, in gratitude and in need, and ask for freedom and forgiveness, for strength and courage, for new perspective and fresh compassion. We come as we are and ask that we would leave changed.
We come to this table as individuals and as a community because we know that wholeness is offered to each of us as part of the community, and in and through the community. We can never be whole without one other, and we cannot receive the wholeness offered to us at this table without ministering it to each other. So we pass each other the bread and wine, we remind one other that this gift is for each of us, for all of us, and we eat and drink together, remembering that we belong to one another and together make up the whole. Together we learn not to kill or compete or cling, but instead to die, and so to live. Learning to befriend and be at peace with our own weakness, we are able now to defend and lift up that which is weak in others. Together we grow up into the head, who is Christ Jesus. We come as we are, as disparate parts, and we ask to be made one.
We come to this table trusting that here we will eat and drink, be nourished and sustained, be healed and forgiven, be challenged and strengthened, be known and loved, be gathered and connected, so that we can leave this table ready to live out and give away – as a community, in our homes, in our everyday lives and in the world – the welcome, mercy and challenge that we have found here.
We come to this table as we are, and we find ourselves loved,
and sent out.