“so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” Romans 12.5
When we gather at the Eucharist we acknowledge our brokenness and the brokennes of the world - but we come with the intention of bringing it back together. We bring all of the brokenness and fragmentation which we experience and see in the world as an offering to God - recognising our own limited resources in bringing all of this to wholeness and asking for the help of the Divine in this great work.
In the story of the meal we call ‘The Last Supper’, when Jesus gathered his friends together for a final sharing of a holy meal, he gave his followers a command “whenever you do this (break bread, and share wine) do this in remembrance of me”. In the Book of Alternative Services (BAS) of the Anglican Church of Canada those words are translated in some of our prayers to “Do this for the remembrance of me.” - in saying this we remember the dual meaning of ‘remembrance’ - the first being ‘bringing to mind’, in the same way that we remember a fact or an idea, the second meaning is re-member, the opposite of dismember - to bring the pieces back together.
And so in our Eucharist we bring the pieces back together - laying claim to that hope of wholeness, which the Church is called (and often fails) to model and living in the hope that again we will be one body, in order that our healing may reflect the healing of the broken parts of our society, our world, God’s creation. We proclaim and seek to live ‘shalom’.
One Bread, One Body (1 Cor 10:16-17; 12:4; Gal 3:28) John B. Foley 1978
One bread, one body, one Lord of all,
One cup of blessings which we bless.
And we, though many throughout the earth,
We are one body in this one Lord.
1. Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man, no more.
2. Many the gifts, many the works, one in the Lord of all.
3. Grain for the fields, scattered and grown, gathered to one, for all.