The Presiding Bishop-Elect of the Episcopal Church of the United States is the presenter on Eucharist for the “New Tracts For Our Times” series being produced by The Scholar-Priest Initiative.

Bishop Michael Curry’s presentation should be viewed in its entirety here: http://www.scholarpriests.org/equipping/newtracts/eucharist/

The Bishop begins his presentation with a short but enormously powerful story which I used  in preaching at this morning’s baptism service to illustrate the inclusive nature of the kingdom Jesus came to inaugurate.

Here is the story, but do watch the whole video:

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There was a woman who became an Episcopalian/ Anglican in the 1940’s. And she was dating a young guy who was licensed to preach in the Baptist tradition. She took him to her church.

Both of them were African-American. The church where they went was all white. This was in the 1940’s in the segregated heart of America.

When she went to communion he sat in the pew because in those days if you were Baptist you didn’t take communion in an Episcopal Church and vice versa. So he sat in the pew and she went up to communion as the only black person in the congregation.

And he waited to see what would happen. Because, not only were they taking the bread, but he noticed that they were all drinking from the same cup.

And he had never seen black folk and white folk drink out of the same cup or from the same water fountain.

So she went up to take communion. And the priest came, in those days only the priest gave out the bread. And the priest was giving out the bread, “The body of Christ the Bread of Heaven.”

Then the priest came along with the chalice, “The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given for thee preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.”

And he got to the black woman, “The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given for thee…”

That man said, any church where black and white drink from the same cup has discovered something I want to be a part of and that the world needs to learn about.

That man and that woman were my parents.

This is the sacrament of unity that can overcome even the deepest estrangements between human beings.

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We need this “sacrament of unity that can overcome even the deepest estrangements between human beings.”

We need to gather at the table with no other agenda than opening our hearts to the power of love.

Jesus calls us, not because we are good, or smart, or capable, or powerful, or rich, or successful. Jesus calls us because we need to come. We need to come to love. We need to come to that place in our lives where our hearts open to the presence of the Divine Mystery that was embodied in Jesus and can live in our hearts by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

When we truly feed on the life that was embodied in Jesus and that comes to us in bread and wine, we will know there is nothing more we need. There is nothing left to earn or deserve. God has given us all we require in the beauty of that Divine Presence dwelling at the centre of our being as our true identity.

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