I recently read Cynthia Moe-Lobeda’s Healing a Broken World: Globalization and God in which she discusses a new way to think about the Eucharist. Each week before we share the sacrament, the minister reminds us of the story of the Last Supper and Jesus’ command to “do this for the remembrance of me.” All too often we hear the words but don’t really think about what they mean; the ritual becomes a routine and we listen to the story and take the bread and wine out of habit but not necessarily with thoughtful purpose.
Moe-Lobeda offers a different way to understand the Eucharist. She challenges us to reconsider the word “remember.” Instead of taking the word to mean recall or recollect, she breaks the word into two parts “re” and “member” and presents a new way to participate in and think about Communion. In recollecting the story of the Last Supper, we re-member, that is put together again, the body of Christ. We essentially are making fractured relationships and the broken body of Christ whole again through the re-membering in the Eucharist.
In re-imagining what this holy meal means for us, what would happen if we did not try to build relationships and support for church members who are living without food or water? I think it is difficult to truly remember the Last Supper and re-member Christ’s body without thinking about our local neighbors as well as our global neighbors who are hungry. If we indeed want to work for God’s justice and love in the world, then we are called to strengthen and rebuild the brokenness we find in the world.
Emmi Gordon is in the second year of her M.Div. program at the University of Chicago. Prior to her studies she lived for several years in South Africa and noticed the effectiveness of Christian aid programs and wondered why Christian programs in particular were so successful. Your own thoughts and reflections, as always, are welcome.