Reflection – August 2018
Last week I officiated at two memorial services; one was prayer and one not so much. In both we used the Book of Common Prayer, so that was not the difference. Both were celebrations of the life of a beloved family member. Both had food that was shared, but the prayer was not in the food. There was a priest at both celebrations, (me), but that was not why one was prayer and the other not so much. What was clear to me was that in one service there was room made for God, and one where God was an addendum. It may be that I may be judging too harshly, but the difference I saw is that in one service people were distracted by the food or catching up with seldom seen relatives, and in the other, people wanted God to be there too. Both services we true celebrations and good things, but one missed a chance to include God in their celebration.
What is true of all prayer, and, most especially, the Eucharist is that room is made for God. There aren’t Holy Words will draw Him near, or a Holy place where He lives, In fact God is already present, it’s we who may be absent. The presence of Christ in the bread is more clearly seen as Christ in the bread that is broken and shared. When we pray we are expressing a deep yearning that God be part of our lives, or perhaps more accurately, that we are a part of God’s Life in the world. It’s not whether the Eucharistic Bread is changed into the Body of Christ, but if WE are willing to be changed into the Body of Christ.
Rev. Ray Bonin