Eat this bread. Drink this cup. Come to me and never be hungry. Those are lyrics of a hymn similar to the one in the video above that may be used during the distribution of communion. The mystery of the incarnation; God coming in human flesh- Jesus the incarnation of love.
This Sunday we explore the second article of the Apostles' Creed. Here it is from our monthly bulletin taken from the Small Catechism along with an explanation:
The Second Article: On Redemption
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he
descended to the dead [or, “he descended into hell,” another translation of this text in
widespread use]. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
What is this? OR What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father in eternity, and also a true human being, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned human being. He has purchased and freed me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I may belong to him, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in eternal righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules eternally. This is most certainly true.
As we explore what it means to be an apostle, the meaning of the Apostles' Creed, and why these matter in our faith journey- we are doing this alongside lectionary readings from John 6 -the Bread of Life readings. When we take in the gift of holy communion we hear the power of the words "given and shed for you". For you. Not about you. For you. This invitation to take and eat, to take and drink is to you and for you and about the One who has come into the world and taken on human form- for you- for you to know, to love, to trust and rely upon.
There is a story about the writing of the hymn "I am the Bread of Life" (the hymn in the video at the top of this post). The composer Sister Suzanne Toolan had written it while on a lunch break, didn't think it was that good and threw it in the trash. One of the students who had overheard her singing it commented on the beauty of the song. It has come to be a widely sung hymn.
The Spirit moves in strange and mysterious ways. The gift Sister Toolan received wasn't about her- it was for her. At a time when Catholic Mass was undergoing huge changes she embodied the gift of congregational singing- that together voices would be raised and words written on hearts by tune and melody. Often it takes the voice of another to guide and direct us to embody and use the gifts we have been given. Join in as we explore the life, death and resurrection of Jesus:the Christ, the Bread of Life, the Living Word, the Word made flesh, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings ...Allow for the great mystery of faith - receive this love of God in Christ Jesus as gift-a gift for you- so take and eat, take and drink, let in this love that is beyond our human comprehension. This love is for you.