On this Maundy Thursday we remember the Last Supper, the final gathering of Jesus with his friends. It is this meal that is the foundation of our practise of sharing bread and wine which we call the Eucharist. In our Anglican tradition the Eucharist is the foundation of our Spiritual practice, it underpins all we do.
That doesn't mean that every service is a Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion), or that all that we do is worship - but that the meaning behind the Eucharist is the meaning behind who we are.
The word Eucharist means 'Thanksgiving', which calls us to be people of gratititude.
The Eucharist is a ritual enacting of Jesus' self-giving, which calls us to be people of service.
The Eucharist is an expression of Community, which calls us to be bound together in love.
The Eucharist is a symbol of sharing, which calls us to people of generosity.
The Eucharist is symbolic eating together, a meal which gives us sustenance in our life of faith, a spiritual nourishment.
The Eucharist is Christ's table, to which all are welcomed without distinction - for Jesus ate with outcasts and sinners, and in his final meal shared even with the one who would betray him. All are welcome at Christ's table just as they are, and celebrated for who they are.
The Eucharist is a reminder that God provides, and that God is generous, and that God's love is abundant. It is a taste of the fullness of the life of God offered to us here and now, again and again.
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.