Sometimes I get lost. Turned around.
I can’t see the forest for all the trees.
Sometimes I feel very very small and bumbling and aimless and I look around me and feel as if I have no idea who God is.
Does he want to shelter me or crush me? Bless me or discipline me? Suddenly all the things I used to think I knew about him don’t seem as if they were very well grounded and life experiences as of late have humbled me to the point of being afraid to claim to know anything at all.
Was it prideful of me to think I could ever really know him?
Was it presumptuous of me to ever believe I could know a truth that others don’t?
And my faith is all external habit but with no internal confidence to fuel it and I know I can’t keep this up for long.
And then on Sunday morning they talk about the specific will of a vast and illusive God and I sit and listen. And then at the end they pass around bread and wine and I eat and drink.
And suddenly the nebulous and mysterious seems to take on life when I eat his flesh and drink his blood.
God seems distant and unknowable. . . but then I do this, this small thing, this little act of eating and drinking and chewing and swallowing, and I remember:
It occurs to me that it has been too long since I have last done this, that I was starving and dehydrated. And it was my malnourishment that made me forget.
And it’s this little, easy act of obedience–“Do this in remembrance of me”–that strengthens me for the harder acts. Because it is in Jesus that we can know who God is. Jesus, our window to the divine, the lens through which we may gaze upon God. In him, God is tangible and personal and utterly knowable.
It is a Holy Communion, this sensory meets spiritual, just as he is a Holy Communion of God and Man.
And the magic isn’t in the bread or the wine alone–it’s in the remembering.
How flippantly we brush off this seemingly trivial, this easy command. But it is this routine sacrament that grounds me, that supplies me with confidence in the midst of uncertainty, that somehow allows me to give and receive grace.
Sometimes I overcomplicate knowing God and his will and pleasing him with all I say and do. It really is just as simple as remembering Jesus. It is by remembering him, by receiving him into my consciousness as my body receives the bread and wine, that I am able to do all else he would ask of me.