Why do we celebrate the Eucharist?
Perhaps we do it because it was handed on to us, just as Paul handed it on to the Corinthians? Perhaps we do it because Christians all over the world have done it every week, even every day, for most of the church’s history? Perhaps we do it because the Lord commanded us?
That’s all true, and reason enough. But, most of all, we do it because it works. We do it because in this act we offer our own lives, beautiful and broken, on the altar, and ask God to transform them into his own image. We do it, so that, by placing ourselves on the altar, our story may be joined with God’s story, a story of how God took his people to freedom, made them pilgrims and, by a great miracle, fed them in the wilderness. We do it to remember how God came to be with us in our pain, how he was broken and so how he joined his story to ours – but how then new life flowed out, abundant and unstoppable. We do it so that what is shattered may be made whole, and what is barren may be filled with new life.
And so, week by week we return, so that grace can fulfil its work begun within us. But remember also, that the daily bread we are given is for the journey onwards, the food of tomorrow given to us today, as a promise of our journey’s end. It will do for now. But one day, we shall have no need of it, because we shall see his face, the living bread.
Alleluia! Here the sinful flee to thee from day to day.