This past Sunday, JD and I gave the meditation for communion at church, something we do fairly often. We focused on the images of broken bread and blood poured out as they have been meaningful images to us in the past few months. Below is what we shared.
Sometimes when our sacraments speak to our cancer and depression and dementia, we weep with disbelief that God can know our aching bodies. But then we look up at the cross, and we hear the words from the Table, and we remember Him who touched our hands to his wounds.
Jesus broke the bread, and said to his friends, “My body broken for you.” His broken body is especially poignant for those of us who have broken bodies. For those of us who can’t see, who can’t remember, who can’t walk, who can’t carry a child.
When we take this bread, we grab it for dear life, this brokenness made whole, because we need to believe in a resurrecting God. We need to believe in someone who takes bodies that are falling apart and restores their dignity. A God who gives life back to death and decay. A God who dies broken and then rises to say our name.
Jesus poured the wine, and said to his friends, “My blood spilled out for you.” His blood speaks to us whose bodies have spilled blood when they weren’t supposed to. For those of us who lay bleeding on the side of the road, whose blood comes out too fast for the doctors to replace, whose “sorrow and love flow mingled down” as another baby is lost, whose blood is drawn for others in a tragedy.
When we drink this wine, we gulp it down like a magic potion, this spilled sorrow and love, because we need to believe in a bleeding God. We need to believe in someone who takes our cold bodies and hearts and warms them back to life. A God whose flowing blood will make our blood flow once again. A God who bleeds out and then rises to touch our face.