Eucharist embodies the fundamental truth of the human condition that we are all one.

Jesus stated that the goal of his life and ministry was that there might

“be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16).

Jesus accomplished this goal in his death and resurrection healing the rift in humanity and restoring the fullness of unity that was the original intention of creation.

We share the same bread; we drink from a common cup. Seen through the lens of eucharist, there is no division in the human family. When we gather at the table we reveal that there is only one humanity.

But, it is only realistic to admit that, for the most part our day to day experience reflects the words of the Gillian Welch song “Orphan Girl” more accurately than the bold reality we announce in the eucharist. Welch laments,

I am an orphan on God’s highway
But I’ll share my troubles if you go my way

I have no mother, no father
No sister, no brother
I am an orphan girl

In life it often feels as though we are orphaned. It is hard to connect with one another, with creation, with God. We feel isolated. Human relationships seem to be more characterized by brokenness, disconnection, and fragmentation than unity, healing, and reconciliation.

Eucharist challenges me to look more deeply where I will see beneath surface separation, a onenness that is the fulfillment of the prayer Jesus prayed for all human beings when he asked,

not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. (John 17:20,21)

Gillian Welch goes on in her song to affirm a vision at the end of time when

He calls me I will be able
To meet my family at God’s table

I’ll meet my mother, my father
My sister, my brother

Eucharist says we do not need to wait until the end. The unity embodied at the table is a reality today. Despite all appearances to the contrary, eucharist announces a deeper truth; it exposes the unity the reality at the heart of all existence. We are not separate; we are all one.

The division we discern on the surface is an illusion. In Christ, creation has been healed. Human relationships have been reconciled.

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

This is why for Paul, it was so important that, when we gather at the Lord’s Table we see that we are one.

For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves. (I Corinthians 11:29)

In the eucharist we see that we are the fulfillment of Christ’s prayer for unity and we are challenged to live as agents of that reconciliation that is the true nature of all reality.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

Every eucharist is a healing service because every time we gather the veil is pulled back from the surface of life and we see the onenenss of all creation.

We arise from the Table of the Lord and go forth into the illusion of fragmentation to live the reality of God’s unifying love.