Mother Teresa said once “If I can give you any advice, I beg you to get closer to the Eucharist.” JRR Tolkien wrote in a letter to his son Christopher, “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament.”
Twenty years ago as a Baptist, these words were a foreign language to me. Twenty years later, as an Anglican, I get it. Along that journey, the discovery of the depth, breadth, and invitations of Holy Communion has been one of the most beautiful and fortifying developments in my own spiritual life. It’s a journey of understanding, yes, but ultimately a journey to Jesus himself in the most powerful of ways.
So for years I’ve wanted to offer a retreat “On the Eucharistic Life”, especially for those who, like me, didn’t come from a sacramental tradition or find themselves in one and still have the question when we come to the Table, “Now what exactly is going on here? Why do we do this so regularly? Why is this such a big deal? And what to make of the differing Christian perspectives of this Sacrament?” And most importantly, “How can I encounter Jesus in the Eucharist and deepen in my relationship with him and become more like him for my sake and the sake of the world?”
Finally we are offering this retreat–“Take, Eat, Be: On the Eucharistic Life” and for the first time we are offering a day retreat in Northern Virginia, at Restoration Anglican Church on Saturday March 19 from 9.30am-3.30pm. Wade Ballou and I will lead it, and we’ll have some teaching, some reflections on how the sacrament translates into our daily living, lunch together, time for reflection, and of course conclude with Holy Communion.
And in these coming weeks, especially as we approach Lent, when you have the opportunity to take Communion, take it gladly and confidently knowing that God is meeting you deeper than you know. Come on March 19 to understand some of those ways and be met by Jesus again.