Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension? Christ physically ascended on our behalf, just as he came down to earth physically on our account, and he is now advocating for us in the presence of his Father, preparing a place for us, and also sends us his Spirit. (New City Catechism)
Not waiting in vain,
men and women thirsting at a cloudless sky,
nor farmers ploughing a desert.
hiding behind a veil of hands
or the clenched-fisted ones in the corner.
No metaphor sates us:
only a body will do. Only
face-to-face, Father to Son,
full sight in place of dim mirrors.
And so a body grows,
and for a body, a home with walls
solid to the touch, but never closed,
a welcome that has arms,
a priest who bears scars,
a love decked with nails,
risen, no fall.
God chooses and preserves for himself a community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together. God sends out this community to proclaim the gospel and prefigure Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another. (New City Catechism)
Washed and waiting,
fed by Word, by bread, by Spirit –
a body, planned
from beginning, bought
by blood, crafted
by grace, grafted
by cross –
we wait, and show
the kingdom which stands
when nations fall, when bodies crushed
beneath the heel reveal the weight
of Now – we wait,
washed and purchased,
Does the Lord’s Supper add anything to Christ’s atoning work? No, Christ died once for all. The Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal celebrating Christ’s atoning work; as it is also a means of strengthening our faith as we look to him, and a foretaste of the future feast. But those who take part with unrepentant hearts eat and drink judgment on themselves. (New City Catechism)
The feast awaits.
Now symbols and nutrients are divided,
vying for space in our minds.
The stomach craves what cannot sate spirit;
vine recalls dirt, bread anticipates yeast –
the work is done, the meal yet to be.
Take and eat. Eat and drink.
Bread cannot do what Spirit’s not done;
what bakes without yeast cannot rise.
Eat, recall; drink and trust:
what’s done has been done
and will prove true
when symbol and food can be one.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
What should we pray? The whole Word of God directs and inspires us in what we should pray, including the prayer Jesus himself taught us. (New City Catechism)
The whole story beckons:
Creation, fall, flood, a people
set apart yet crumbling.
Every moment shines
what-might-be against what-is,
entropy’s melancholy truth, and yet
this potentiality of grace.
The sorry state, the hope of otherwise,
drags knees down and elevates hearts
in hopeful, humbled prayer.
Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from? All the gifts we receive from Christ we receive through the Holy Spirit, including faith itself. (New City Catechism)
Even faith’s a gift:
that I can stretch out my hand
free gift of grace,
in death does not occur;
clings only to the dust,
respired by gift of faith.
Even faith’s from His hand:
breathes out life-desiring life
breathes hope that there
is more than death ahead.
desires, the Spirit gives.
for faith itself’s a gift.