Stumbling through Communion

Saturday, May 3

5-3By Peggy Michael of Cantonment, Florida, USA

And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you…And when was it that we saw you sick and in prison and we visited you? And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

—Matthew 25:38–40 NRSV

How can I ask forgiveness, Lord, when I am certain I shall sin again? How can I take the blessed bread, the sanctified wine—grace to the souls of all those who partake, grace to those who keep God’s commandments, grace even to me? The line is fine and thin, and yet I stumble. Would I be taking the symbols of your sacrifice in vain? Should I refrain, though I need wholeness desperately?

I wonder if those on their knees beside me fight these silent battles as I do. I strive hard for lofty goals that seem unattainable. Yet I will eat and drink and believe that somehow your love will bridge my separation.

You have forgiven me. When will I forgive myself and restore my soul? O proud heart, dare you flaunt your silken garments in the face of beggars and hollow-cheeked children? Lower your eyes to see their tattered form. Hear their hungry whimper and rush to their side.

Then, perhaps, they will forgive, and take a piece of bread from my repentant hand. Then, perhaps, I can give as a disciple gives.

Prayer for Peace
God of mercy, how patient you are with your willful children. Stop us when we ignore the cries of our neighbors and look at their flaws, instead of our own. Cleanse our hearts until we have no desire to deceive or bear false witness. Show us how to share peace with separated friends. —Peggy Michael

Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Sabbath
Honoring and keeping the Sabbath is a spiritual discipline that nourishes people, families, and congregations. Spend several minutes meditating on your plans for tomorrow. Discern ways you can give intentional attention to God, the sacredness of life, and creation. Slow your pace, breathe deeper, see more clearly and compassionately, create spaces of quiet and solitude. Spend time in nature. Be alert for signs of beauty and divine presence. Cook and eat your food with keen awareness of color, taste, texture, fragrance. Listen to music, look closely at the face of a loved one, laugh and talk together. Pray over these Sabbath possibilities and enter the day with reverence.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will consider the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and all that it means for Christ’s mission.

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