Bring and share on a Sunday morning

This Sunday we met at Barbara’s – just 2 weeks after her hip replacement and not yet ready to be at the bandstand. It was a leisurely and special time when we were able to share all kinds of things and concerns for one another and for others we know and care about.

Barbara gave us each copies of the Beatitudes both from The Message and the NIV and we sat with those words and reflected on them before she shared the following version:

The Beatitudes – Brian McLaren & Rob Bell

The poor and those in solidarity with them – God is on your side.

Those who mourn and feel grief about the state of the world – God is on your side.

The non-violent, gentle and humble – God is on your side.

Those who hunger ad thirst for the common good – God is on your side.

The merciful and compassionate – God is on your side.

Those characterised by sincerity, kindness and generosity- God is on your side.

Those who work for peace and reconciliation – God is on your side.

Those who keep seeking justice – God is on your side.

Those who stand for justice and truth as the prophets did, who refuse to be quiet even when slandered, misrepresented, threatened, imprisoned or harmed – God is on your side.

It was good to talk about them and how they linked to people near and far – feeding into prayers.

We prayed using words from Lectio 365 – allowing us to hear messages of hope from Revelation 21’s vision of an end to tears and suffering and St Paul’s words about all creation straining for the day of God’s salvation… with time to hold those in need now…

And we shared bread and wine using words written by Steve on a previous occasion, focusing on how we are all interconnected:

Bread and Wine

We like to think of ourselves with Enlightenment eyes as
Authentic choosers
Freewill warriors
Single autonomous souls

But what if we are community?
But what if I am a community?
A host of many
More multitudinous than we can imagine
Living in bewildering symbiosis
Part of a greater interdependent whole.

What if that rich bio-chemical soup makes up me? I am my microbiome.

It is integral to my selfhood, my decisions, my likes, dislikes, values and my shalom?

What if I am formed and nurtured in the crucible of generational love and struggle? That others whose names I only distantly recognise or whose names are inscribed upon my heart, have a part to play in my story.

So we might say, “Though we are many, we are one body.” Gathered today through choice around the bread and the wine with their story of sacrificial love, redemption and renewal.

So we eat the one body…
And drink the one wine…

And we are jointly and severally co-missioned as artists and prophets, as lamed vavniks and kingdom seekers. Blessings. Amen