I walk towards the communion table. I step before the basket of bread and the cup of wine. A time to remember. A time for renewal. Christ meets me here. I breathe him in.
But, again, the bread is the hard-crust-too-large-for-one-mouthful size—at least for me. I know I’m not the only one who finds this distracting. We talked about it in our book group. I smile as I remember our conversation.
This time, I am determined not to let it distract me. I pick up a piece of the bread and break it in two. The body of Christ, broken for me. I tightly clasp one half in my left hand. I dip the other in the wine. A time to remember. Forgive me. Strengthen me. Help us to be Christ’s body in the world.
I turn away from the table, the other half piece of bread still clasped in my hand. I slip it, gently, into my pocket.
I think, “I have Christ in my pocket.” I smile. I like that. But, will others think that is outrageous? I worry.
Then, I begin to think, what happens to the leftover bread? Is it thrown out? Fed to the birds? Does someone take it home and make fondue? I’m sure there must be some sacred handling of the leftovers.
I let it go. I’m sure the pastors and elders have this covered.
Later that day, I reach into my pocket. The bread! I remember. The body of Christ, broken for me.
Throughout the day, I reach into my pocket and grasp the bread—now hard as a rock. Inedible. The body of Christ, broken for me.
That night, as I get ready for bed, I open the top drawer of my night stand and tuck the bread into the corner. The body of Christ, broken for me.
And, so as I head to the communion table each week, I am no longer distracted by the super-sized pieces of bread. And, throughout the week, I remember the communion table. The body of Christ, broken for me.
I have Jesus in my pocket. But, more importantly, I remember. I remember that Christ bore the suffering on the cross for me. I remember that Christ meets me here, in the place where I am–today and every day–if I will just seek Him out.
The body of Christ, broken for me.
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
How will you remember Christ today?
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. —Matthew 11:28-30
When I find my life busier than I feel I can bear, I tend to let every small event overwhelm me. Little things, like my husband asking me to quickly look at something he is working on, helping my kids find something, or looking for a pair of socks that match! Silly things become a burden.
When that happens I know I have tried to carry the stress and work of the world alone. That I have forgotten Christ is there. Instead of relying on Him and His promise to give me strength to get through things, I try to do it all.
He promises that if I will take on his yoke and learn from Him, I will find rest for my soul. So, why carry around my own “yoke” — my burden, on my own? Instead, I can throw it off! Toss it out and turn to Christ. I can stop and rest in Him and He will make it easier.
I know that doesn’t mean it will be easy, just easier. And, through those times, with Christ, I will learn what it means to walk humbly and to glorify God. And, in the end–when the time for rest comes–He will provide it.
So, I find strength and comfort and encouragement today. Instead of stressing about the events of the day and the little–ridiculously little–things, I will turn to Christ. I will seek His presence so that I may not only find strength, but so that I may find joy. He doesn’t want me to just get through it, but to find joy and to glorify Him in my day. He carried all my burdens, so that I might seek Him and glorify Him.
Instead of stumbling through the day with this heavy yoke, I will skip and gallop and sing–just as my kids did when they were little. I do this, because of Christ’s promise and ever presence.
I have an incredibly busy few days ahead, but wanted to share a quote from a talk by Shane Claiborne, who spoke at our church this week. Some food for thought.
“How good we have become at making people feel like outsiders–of excluding the very people that Jesus magnetized . . . The walls that we build and the way we exclude should break our hearts.”— Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution and founder of thesimpleway.org