When the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, his
heavenly Father, having loved his own who were in the
world, he loved them to the end; at supper with them he took
bread, and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and
gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body,
which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given
thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you:
This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you
and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink
it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
–Book of Common Prayer, Holy Eucharist Rite II, Eucharistic Prayer B
Each Sunday, the presiding priest or bishop offers these words to the congregation before we partake in the bread and wine of Holy Communion.
My husband and I attend and are members at an Anglican Church near Wheaton. This church body has supported and challenged me for the past three years (Tim for the past five years). We have come to so love and enjoy this group of people, their reverence for Scripture and tradition and their constant and never-ending desire to push all people towards the Lord. We feel like we are known here and that we belong here, of which we are extremely grateful.
While attending this church, my perspective on the Eucharist has changed dramatically. I grew up in a non-denominational megachurch in Wisconsin which served Communion a few times a year. For the more historically and theologically adept, this church was heavily Zwinglian when it came to the Lord’s Supper.
Needless to say, my first few experiences of receiving the Eucharist in an Anglican church was quite different. This was not just a symbol, nor was it transubstantiation that is typically seen within the Catholic Church, but there was a very embodied, spiritual significance to this practice that I had never experienced before.
Through the years and the continued practice of receiving Eucharist weekly at this church, I came to a better understanding of what it means for the Lord to be our Sustainer.
He is the Bread of Life, but what does this really mean for us?
Just under a year ago, a sweet RA that Tim and I worked with had an image come to her while I was telling my life story to the staff team. After finishing with my story, she pulled me aside, and gave me the most beautiful picture of the Lord’s sustaining power that I have ever received.
This is the image:
She saw me standing with a large basket weighing heavily on my arms. Inside it and overflowing from it were communion wafers. I was standing at the end of a moving conveyor belt that was pouring out wafers into my basket.
Initially, I had no idea what significance this vision held. I lifted it to the Lord in prayer multiple times over the following weeks. Then one Sunday in church, as I was waiting to be lead forward to receive the Eucharist, the Spirit started to make sense of the image.
The “moving conveyor belt” is this weekly practice of the Eucharist. Every Sunday, I return to the table. And every Sunday, the Lord lavishes on me the gift of His sacrifice and His love. Just as the wafers were overflowing from the basket in my arms, so I can overflow with the Lord’s love for others as I receive His sustaining power in the Eucharist.
As I walk to the front of the sanctuary, hold out my cupped hands, make eye contact with the giver of bread and receive the words, “This is the body of Christ, broken for you,” I am reminded of the Lord’s sustaining power in giving me my daily bread (literally and figuratively).
The Lord is your Sustainer. Are you seeking your daily bread from Him, and Him alone?
Disclaimer: I know that there may be some of you that are uncomfortable with the idea of visions, images, prophecies, and other (stereotypically charismatic) spiritual gifts. Though this is too large of a topic to cover in one, brief blog post, I am completely willing to enter into conversation about this! Please reach out.