(An interim post, so you'll know I'm okay - and refocusing.)
I shared most of these with my church family Sunday, April 15. I haven't led thoughts at the Table for more than a year, so I may have said too much. But it never seems like enough when I try to encapsulate the Story in a few words for the centerpiece of our worship together ....
I know a Story that will break your heart.
You know it, too.
About an upright and loving man, torn from His friends in a garden where He had gone to pray for His life ... tried, stripped, tortured and finally publicly executed - all because He claimed to be the Son of God.
It happened so long ago, and our world is so full of tragedy, that this would be just another sad tale that wouldn't break our hearts if it weren't for the fact that He was, indeed, God's Son.
And of all the divine teachings He shared, and all the supernatural things He did to confirm it, maybe the most miraculous of all was what He did before those awful things were done to Him.
He stripped to the waist, wrapped a towel around Himself and washed the dirty feet of His closest friends.
He prayed for their unity.
He prayed that His Spirit might fall upon them.
He took the bread of the Passover meal, and when He had blessed and broken and shared it, said: "Take and eat it; this is my body broken for you. As often as you do this, remember me."
After the meal, He took the cup and blessed it and shared it, saying: "This is my blood of the new agreement between God and man, poured out for you. As often as you do this, remember me."
Then He surrendered Himself freely to His enemies and the cross.
As we consume the bread and the wine and it becomes part of us, His body becomes ours; His blood flows in our veins; His Spirit vivifies us with life and unity and mission.
We are broken to be kneaded, re-shaped and warmed to usefulness. We are crushed to be distilled for purpose.
And as we are increasingly transformed into His likeness, our hearts are broken again. - Not just by His Story, but by the stories of those around us.
So we share the Story that broke our hearts with others, to break theirs.
We share the life He shares with us.
We share the unity of His body, His church, His kingdom.
And the Story continues.