here’s a little something i wrote over on the eikon blog and rather than trying to force the obligatory, “what i’m thankful for…” post, i thought i’d just reblog what i wrote there.
i grew up in a faith tradition that didn’t use the vernacular of eucharist, so it wasn’t too long ago that i began to explore its meaning and usage. as the word began to find its place in my sphere of acknowledgment, i soon discovered that it was simply another way of referring to what my—and others’—faith tradition referred to as communion or the lord’s supper. but there’s something that seems much deeper, much more rich, about the word eucharist. on this thanksgiving day, the word becomes even more vibrant and alive with meaning.
few people realize that eucharist is a greek word that literally translates to thankfulness or gratitude or giving of thanks. in paul’s account of the last supper in his first letter to the church at corinth, he recounts the events of that evening,
On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks (eucharistéō) to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24)
jesus gave thanks—eucharist. as he gathered with his closest friends and allies, he engaged in the eucharist. for what? for his body. that would soon serve as an eternal sacrifice for the very people with whom he sat. for the wine—the symbol of his soon-to-be shed blood. for remembering. remembering the brokenness that would soon be occur.
jesus and his disciples gathered for a meal. in that time of closeness and deep sharing over the bread and the wine, jesus gave thanks. he celebrated the eucharist—thanksgiving.
so it is today. as we sit down for a meal, in a time of deep closeness and reconnection and thanksgiving with those who are closest to us, let us remember. let us break bread. let us drink the wine. let us give thanks together.
but in the end, it isn’t the bread and it isn’t the wine. it isn’t the turkey. it isn’t the dressing. it’s much deeper. it’s much more lasting. it’s something that connects thousands of years of those who remember. those who break the bread and those who drink the wine. those who gather with friends and loved ones. those who celebrate the eucharist. those who remember the christ.
so may the god—on this thanksgiving day—who breaks the bread and pours from the cup, help us to remember to remember.