Since I am constantly in the presence of Swedenborgians (and what a blessing that is!), I don’t often hear people asking, “What’s in it for me?” No, the people I spend time with are usually taking the Doctrine of Usefulness to the extreme. Thus, I am more likely to hear questions like, “How can I help?” or “What can I do for you?” But there is a place, a time, in our church life when we can put aside doing for others and just ‘take’; that is, receive a wonderful gift.
In our church, one of those special times is Holy Communion. Some call it the Lord’s Supper. We all know that our physical bodies need food and drink, but our souls also need constant renewal. Spiritual food – goodness and truth from the Lord – is essential to our spiritual life.
When we take part in Holy Communion, the bread and wine picture love and wisdom (goodness and truth) which the Lord provides us freely. This doesn’t happen magically, though. We do have some part in this. As explained in our Dole Bible Study Notes: “The Lord’s Supper has reality and power for us in proportion to our desire to receive the good and truth from the Lord, which the bread and wine symbolize”. We need to be in a state of mind where we really want to be fed, where we really want to have the Lord’s goodness and truth working through us.
Our Holy Communion service on 3rd Sundays offers us the opportunity to open ourselves to the Lord’s leading and to receive His gifts to us. I so appreciate the meditative music, the respectful quietness shared by everyone in the sanctuary, and the minister’s gentle blessings. These help to settle my busy mind, open my grateful heart, and bring me to a state of peaceful receptiveness so that my soul may be fed.
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