Sacramental Sharing

By Barbara Howard of Independence, Missouri, USA

For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.  Matthew 18:20

We shared lunch with a young couple and went to a film about Hildegard of Bingen. As we left the theater we met a couple from our congregation, and the six of us returned to our home for a spontaneous evening together.

Throughout our meal of leftovers, stories were told, and joy abounded. We heard about each other’s families, delighted in and pondered congregational issues, and laughed at embarrassing moments in church life. We struggled with difficult questions about contemporary culture and the role of the church in creative transformation of cultures. We ate, rejoiced, and celebrated the intimacy of friendship.

The evening was sacred, and prayer seemed appropriate as we formed a quiet circle before parting. Throughout the remainder of the week the sense of God’s presence seemed more intense, more vivid than it had before.

I’ve wondered since that evening if perhaps we limit the meaning of sacrament to ordinances in the church.

The presence of the living Christ is always with us. In a world where intimacy often is lost, the breaking of bread together, the sharing of lives is sacred.

I am grateful for our blessed community and the joy of sacramental sharing.

Prayer for Peace:

God of the individual, God of the community, let us come together to share our joy. Let us be blessed by one another’s presence, and let us be transformed by the spirit of the table—food, story, laughter, and welcoming generosity.

Spiritual Practice:

Visualize or feel an empty vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container). Imagine wanting to draw something from the bucket to share with someone, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty, dry, empty.

Then something clear and cool begins to pour over you. It splashes and tumbles into the vessel, filling it to the brim. The living water of Christ pours on and in you. Your vessel fills and runs over, blessing your body and soul. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving and commitment to share living water with others.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will seek others with whom to share your presence. I will respond with joy and generosity.

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