(Note: One of manifold reflections on years upon years of ordained ministry)
The table spread with bread and wine;
the invitation, to those present, given: “Come, partake.”
Yet, he knows, scanning the sacred space,
shadowy, largely (skeletal) rid of flesh,
that others (many?) desire not this feast;
they, counting chronos as the chiefest measure of all matters,
who sit at smorgasbord ingesting life’s delights,
that he, by the truth-telling of his self-confessing,
from time to time, would wish to have and to hold…
But that is not –
yea, ne’er hath been –
nor his wanting.
Nay, his cherished summons is,
by trusting orisons,
to invite, again and again,
as Guest the One Who alway is the Host
(to continue in a kairos-moment
His eternal kenosis
to bring that ancient room to now,
(with hands, feet, and side scarred, marred by blood),
to break the Bread, to pour the Cup,
to be the Feast for all who feast
to bear His Name in this world.(1)
(1) A reflection on the hymn, Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest; words by George Wallace Briggs (1875-1959)
Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest;
nay, let us be thy guests; the feast is thine;
thyself at thine own board make manifest
in thine own Sacrament of Bread and Wine.
We meet, as in that upper room they met;
thou at the table, blessing, yet dost stand:
“This is my Body”; so thou givest yet:
faith still receives the cup as from thy hand.
One body, we, one Body who partake,
one Church united in communion blest;
one Name we bear, one Bread of life we break,
with all thy saints on earth and saints at rest.
One with each other, Lord, for one in thee,
who art one Savior and one living Head;
then open thou our eyes, that we may see;
be known to us in breaking of the Bread.