This book is one in the series entitled “Ancient Practice Series” edited by Phyllis Tickle.
Finding Our Way Again by Brian McLaren
In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson
Sabbath by Dan B. Allender
Fasting by Scot McKnight
The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister
Pilgrimage by Charles Foster (I have shared this one in my blog.)
From the dust jacket~
“Unlike every other Christian practice, communion is meant to be done together—as the Gospel of Matthew tell us, where two or three “gather in my name.” You simply can’t do it by yourself. You can pray alone and fast alone. You can even go on a pilgrimage alone. Communion, on the other hand, forces us to be with others.
“But like these other practices, communion has the same intention to gradually move us out of one place and into another. Author Nora Gallagher says it’s like taking a journey to a foreign land, and she divides the trip into three parts: waiting, receiving, and afterward. While we wait, we sort through our baggage, filled with worry, guilt, anxiety, and pain. Communion teaches us how to receive—that god’s gift of grace comes to us by doing nothing. Finally, we surrender our invisible baggage and now lightened, are free to reflect upon and understand the journey we have shared.
“Gallagher writes, ‘Every time is the same, and every time is different.’ This is your family, your table, an act of community—the gathering of the body of Christ.”
From the author~
Holy Communion was a web, a web of people being stitched together. And tomorrow, we would need to be stitched together again.
A practice is meant to connect you with what is deeply alive, to stir in you the same kind of aliveness that the disciples of Jesus must have felt around him.
Transformation occurs in encounters, sometimes better named collisions, either with the self or with others or with the holy.
If you make up a bunch of rules about who gets to take Communion and who doesn’t, then Communion is reduced either to a special club with only certain kinds of people who are allowed in, or magic.
Jesus practiced a radical faith: everyone was welcome at his table.
Maybe in the soup kitchen, we were re-creating the original Eucharist, a feast for the marginal.
To be exalted by heavenly standards is to urge others to be exalted, too, to share in the bounty of being loved and loving.
Christ is everywhere, especially in bread and wine, where, as Luther says, he binds himself and us to each other.