Daily Bread November 02

Covenantal Encounter
Mark Murphy of Everett, WA, USA

Agree with God, and be at peace; in this way good will come to you. -Job 22:21-22

Communion was a little different this Sunday, yet very much the same. The order of worship followed the normal format. But on this Sunday, the gospel proclamation was powerfully provided by the executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. As we celebrated the sacrament of Communion and I watched the priesthood members serve the emblems, I realized it had been at least three years since I had last served the Communion. My normal practice when serving is to watch as congregants reach for the emblems and look at their faces, hoping we make eye contact and experience a moment of blessed encounter.

As I reflected on this, I saw in my mind Jesus serving his disciples, and I suddenly wondered what went through Jesus’ heart and mind as he served the emblems to his ragtag team of still-bewildered followers. Was there a sense of excitement, anticipation, and yearning as he watched them reach and partake, or was his mind somewhere else, in darker places, as he went through the motions? Was he distracted, focused on the pain and suffering he knew was coming, or was he present with his disciples in that moment, hoping they were watching him, ready to make eye contact so they could experience a Spirit-blessed encounter in that small, sacred setting?

Then a surprising realization struck me, something I should have known long ago. Communion is not simply remembering and renewing my covenant with God through Christ. It is covenantal rebirth and encounter with each other, the body of Christ, in and through whom we experience the blessings of community. After 50 years, Communion will take on a deeper and more sacred meaning for me each time I reach, eat, and drink the symbols of Christ’s body with my brothers and sisters.

Prayer Phrase

My ordinary life is a sacred place.

Spiritual Practice

Sacramental Living

“…our everyday ordinary lives are also sacred places, or put another way, the sacred place of our living. As dwellers within the Sacredness of Creation, there is potential to be aware and appreciate the holy within the ordinary. You may remember times when it felt like you were seeing the world through God’s eyes. That’s a good description for what it means to live sacramentally-to sense divine Spirit amid daily activities.” -Jane M. Gardner, “Sacramental Living,” September/October 2019 Herald, p. 5

How are you invited to live sacramentally today?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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