Do you want to know something that's really surprised me? How much I've come to crave -- and actually depend -- on the eucharist of late.
I've never felt this way about communion before.
In fact, a couple months ago, we had dinner with some friends, and the husband was telling us that the eucharist is the central focus of the liturgy. It's the ultimate reason we gather together, he said. Everything in the service is in service to that moment when the bread and wine are consecrated and each baptized Christian is presented with the body and blood of Christ -- the bread of heaven, the blood shed for you and for me.
Our friend drew my attention to the fact that the other elements of the liturgy -- the readings, the sermon, the hymns, even the celebrant -- may change, but the blessing of the bread and wine remains the same. The offering of Christ's body to take, eat, and receive into ourselves remains the same always.
At the time of the conversation, I didn't really relate to what our friend had said. At the time, I was caught up in my enjoyment and delight in certain other elements of the service, none of which had much to do with the eucharist at all. I enjoyed the teaching of our rector, Father Rob. I loved the slow pace and reverent tenor of the contemplative eucharist service we faithfully attend on Sunday nights -- the low lights and candles lit, the sights and smells, the sacred chant and extended silences.
But in the last few months, I've noticed a shift.
Now it is the eucharist I crave. Now it is the bread and wine -- the taking of Jesus into myself over and over again -- that I need more of. Now it is the Christ that I worship and adore that I want inside of me, more and more, forever and ever, amen.