Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Body of Christ Broken For You

Jason O. Evans, Saint Matthews UMC, Greensboro, N.C.

It has been several weeks since my last post. Nevertheless, I continue to walk in God's grace by writing the latest events happening on my internship at St. Matthews. For the past two days in this arid and hot weather, Pastor A. Beverly and I have been serving Communion to the sick and shut-in all over the city of Greensboro, N.C. Yesterday, we served twenty-five people, including members and their families and caregivers.

Today we visited a UM minister who has advanced multiple sclerosis (MS) and his mother. Both are living with the minister's daughter in a nearby suburb. The UM minister also is a Duke Divinity graduate. It was good to talk with a fellow "Dukie." Although the minister's body was weak and wracked with pain at times, he was in good spirits. He gave we words of wisdom. I had the pleasure of serving him Communion.

We also visited a member who has a terminal illness. Since we last seen her, her condition is worsening. It is possible that she can transition at any moment. Pastor Beverly and I were greeted at the door by her live-in caregiver and we were escorted into the member's room. The woman, who recently woke up from a nap, was bedridden, weak and feeble. Pastor Beverly greeted her by kissing her on her forehead. Then Dr. Beverly stated the reason why we came. Dr. Beverly said that she intended for me, the summer intern, to serve the woman Communion, but she that she wasn't in the condition to receive it. The woman, with a quiet resilience, whispered, "Yes I can."

Pastor Beverly reached into our little basket for the Communion elements. I reached into the basket also for them to serve the caregiver. Pastor Beverly served the member, I served the caregiver. Then Dr. B. offered a powerful prayer. Then she kissed the woman's forehead again, and we left.

I realized on these visits with the sick and shut-in the powerful meaning of the broken Body of Christ in Communion. I realized that human bodies get weak, some are wracked with unforgiving conditions and diseases, bodies get old. However I am reminded of the the Last Supper scenes in the Gospels and the broken body of the Suffering Servant which Second Isaiah uttered (Isa. 53).

Christ's body is broken for us on Calvary and at the Table. The dying woman and the MS-strickened minister mustered strength to receive the body and blood of the crucified Lord. The dying woman realized that when she received the elements, she did it in obedience to her Lord. She and the minister know that they will see Him in peace and feast with Him and all of his saints at the table of his heavenly Banquet. May we all hope for the everlasting day when we all shall eat with the Lord at his table forever. Until then, let us meet Him at his table on earth during Eucharist. The Body of Christ, broken for you. Take. Eat.


Angela said...

This is really beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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