Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 22: Year 1
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ?” (1st Corinthians 10:16)
The words of the Consecration of the cup of wine at the Altar are very specific. The blessing ends with, “When ever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.” This is said in the Book of Common Prayer for Eucharistic Prayer A, page 363; Prayer B, 368; Prayer C, 371; and Prayer D, 374. Given this information, I make it a point to remember our Lord Jesus each and every time I pour any glass of red wine for myself or others. Call me a fanatic if you will, it is what our Lord Jesus said for His followers to do, in remembrance of Him.
During Covid, our practice has been to have a designated recipient to receive the chalice of wine on behalf of the congregation. Our Bishop has just given us permission for all of us to once again receive the wine for every individual desiring to do so with certain precautions. But then, it has from its inception, been a blessed taste.
This is symbolically putting the blood of our Lord Jesus into ourselves. If we think about it, we become brothers and sisters of God Incarnate. Wow! With this weekly sip, shouldn’t we proceed from Church inoculated against evil thoughts and impatiently desiring to do good works? I think so.
We just have to put our faith in Christ Jesus. We must believe in the cup covenant that Jesus left with us. Jesus said the cup, but we chose the cross as a way to remember Him. The cross was a Roman death tool. The Cup is a forever life tool. This is not so hard to understand, and here is the thing, we don’t have to be in Church. For the bread we do have to be in Church as it is the taking, blessing, breaking and giving of the bread; and it is the sharing of the cup also. But with the cup is added the words, “When ever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.” For me, “whenever” also means “wherever.”
We could be at home or out for an evening social. But when we hold a glass of wine, and we are Christian, we are asked by our Lord Jesus to, at that moment, to remember Him. I remember the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel who said “it is the moment that adds significance to things (or experiences), not things that add significance to moments,” from his book, The Sabbath. Therefore, the moment we are about to sip the first taste of wine, (the thing), we should remember our Lord Jesus, (the significant moment). I think a, “Thank You Lord Jesus,” will do nicely.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John