Body of Christ, given

While I believe that sacred moments happen in all kinds of places and times, to all kinds of people, sometimes they happen right where the church has always said they would—places like Holy Communion, where we are promised that God shows up.

I am in a place where I get to serve communion once in awhile, and the repeated motion of handing people that bread, and saying those words, “the body of Christ, given for you” often leads to those sacred moments for me. Yesterday it happened as I looked at each of those hands, opened to receive this wafer, and the promise that it is the body of Christ. Hands that were variously old, young, calloused, scarred, soft, white, brown, partially opened, fully opened, tentative and eager. And as I was saying those words, “The body of Christ, given for you” I realized I was also laying that bread into the hands which are also the body of Christ.

My church (the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) even says something like this: “God’s work, our hands” is the tagline. Perhaps more mystically, part of the invitation to the table of grace sometimes includes words like, “Behold what you are, become what you receive.”

And so we place the body of Christ into the body of Christ, and a circle of grace and God’s work goes on and on.