Eucharist announces that life is a journey lived most fully when I surrender and open.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed the ultimate Christian prayer when he addressed God saying,

“not what I want, but what you want” (Mark 14:36).

To share in Eucharist is to embody the act of surrender. Eucharist, like all of life, does not work with resistance. When I clench and tighten against the realities of life, I close myself to the deeper wisdom, energy, and truth to which I have access when I let down my guard and abandon my self-protective stance.

In order to eat and drink, I must open and soften. Eucharist teaches me that I engage in the journey of life most authentically and humanly by softening and receiving the gift of life with gratitude.

In the tradition in which I share eucharist, I do not stay seated in my place and receive the bread and wine where I am. I have to get up and move from where I have been sitting to where I will stand or kneel before the Lord’s Table. I have to be willing to move.

The only requirement to receive communion is that I let go of my privilege, power, and prestige, and move from the place where I build walls to protect myself clinging to my personal agendas and strategies, to the place where I simply open, soften and welcome the fullness of God’s Spirit. I come empty-handed and embrace the gift that is given. As I enact this journey through sharing in eucharist, my participation in the journey of life is deepened and enriched.

There is something in me that always calls me on. But, I move forward not by rejecting the place I find myself, not by judging or resisting the circumstances of my life. I move forward by opening more deeply to the reality of what is here and now in whatever situation is presently unfolding in my life is.

Eucharist announces that wherever I may be on my journey, there is always a larger, deeper, fuller reality available. The energy of eucharist does not remain at the table, or in the gathering around the table. I carry the life-force of Jesus out into the world with me wherever I go. There is no circumstance that has the power to destroy the life-affirming reality that is eucharist.

I may lose consciousness of that presence permeating all of existence. But my lack of awareness does not mean the divine is missing. As the energy of the physical food I consume continues to work invisibly in my body after it has been consumed, so the spiritual nurture that I receive in eucharist empowers each step I take on my journey.

Just as I need physical food regularly so I need to receive the spiritual food of eucharist on a reliable basis. An occasional diet is not adequate to sustain a robust spiritual well-being. So I return again and again to eucharist. It may not always feel like I am entering into the heavenly realms each time I approach the Lord’s Table. Not every meal is a gourmet feast. I eat because my body needs regular nourishment. I come to eucharist because, in the journey of life, I need to be constantly reawakened to the divine presence permeating all of life. I need to know that I carry within me the sacred reality of that presence that I encounter wherever my journey may lead.