Sunday, September 16, 2007

by Terry Anderson

Today I preached at St Andrew's Cathedral and shared the Eucharist with God's people. The eucharist, a sacred meal, instituted by Christ, is a living testimony of Christ's covenant keeping love for His people.

To help us appreciate the significance of the eucharist I've chosen a poem by Terry Anderson which is a meditation of believers anxiously gathering around a priest as he consecrates the elements of bread and wine within an oppressive situation.

Five men huddled close
against the night and our oppressors,
around a bit of stale bread
hoarded from a scantly meal,
and a candle, lit not only as
a symbol but to read the text by.

The priest's as poorly clad.
as drawn with strain as any,
but his voice is calm, his face serene.
This is the core of his existence,
the reason he was born.

Behind him I can see
his predecessors in their generations,
back to the catacombs,
heads nodding in approval,
hands with his tracing
out the stately ritual,
adding the power of their suffering
and faith to his, and ours.

the ancient words shake off
their dust, and come alive.
The voices of their authors
echo clearly from the damp, bare walls.
The familiar prayers come
straight out of our hearts.
Once again Christ's promise
is fulfilled; his presence fills us.
The miracle is real.

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