The Power of the Eucharist, the Need for Communion


Each Sunday is a source of excitement for me. It matters not if I am facing the possibility of conflict or the expectation of a joyful celebrate, the excitement is there. For almost ever Sunday for the past thirty-nine years God has spoken through me and to me in the art form and profound foolishness of the sermon.

But there is another reason I get excited on Sundays these days. Recently, every Sunday has been a time I have engaged in the mystery and power of the means of grace we call communion, or the Eucharist.

I have discovered that neither depression, physical or emotional pain, feelings of betrayal or an encounter with evil can lessen or diminish by even a hair, the power which comes when the Holy Spirit, through a mystery beyond my ability to understand, makes the bread and wine the body of blood of Jesus. It touches me deeply and gives my spirit strength.

Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” I do remember, but I also experience in this moment the promise of a time to come. I experience the joy at that moment of being at the table with Jesus as Jesus joins with me and others in a unity we can only dream of in this world that still groans under condemnation.

Yesterday, I went to a meeting carrying the weight of a situation outside of my control. If given the choice I likely would not have gone to the meeting. In fact, with the burden I am carrying, the only thing I had to look forward to at this meeting was the expectation of communion, of the experience of grace that comes when we are called to the table.

Yet, for some reason, even though our religious orientation is a sacramental one, communion was not served.

I left that meeting troubled. I drove home in silence.

Perhaps this neglect was just an oversight of an overworked leadership. This is what I will chose to believe. However, this experience of absence reminded me of just how powerful the Eucharist is and how dependent I am on it for spiritual strength.