‘We take Holy Communion not because we are doing well,
but because we are doing badly’.
Do you remember ‘Listen with Mother’? I do – just… but I’m much more Jackonory ‘tell us a story’.
In the Prayer Book service of Holy Communion, there’s also an ‘are you sitting comfortably’ moment. It always strikes me as a rather topsy turvy ‘comfortable moment’, confidently listing as it does, some rather uncomfortable truths of being human: travail and heavy burdened, the ultimate cost of the only-begotten Son and finally, from 1 John 2.12:
If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
and he is the propitiation of our sins.
Back in the 16th century, Anglicans seemed only too aware that going to church was more about putting things right than being right. I’ve looked west at more than one congregation and wondered if they are in church because they think they are ‘good’. Sadly, too often, people keep away from church when things in their lives are topsy turvy, fearing that God only welcomes those people who have got life sorted…. How mistaken we can be!
This Sunday, as we continue to consider the meaning, purpose and place of Holy Communion in our Anglican faith, we are going to face up to what we might feel to be the ‘uncomfortable truth’ of our need for honest repentance. As Rowan Williams writes so tellingly:
‘As Christians, we come not to celebrate ourselves and how well we are doing, but to celebrate the eternal Gift that is always there – God’s redeeming love in Christ.’
Yours – never presuming