Reflections on Henri Nouwen’s “Can You Drink The Cup?”
(from Chapter 2: The Cup of Sorrow, pages 31-37)
What is communion?
– being together
– common union
– having something another person(s) has/have
– sharing something with one or more people
– agreeing on the same ideas, ways, or thoughts about something
– living together with person(s)
It’s being together with like-minded people who think like you – or like us.
It has something to do with communication – the way I feel, think, react, and respond to other people and the way they feel, think, act, and behave toward me.
It’s a drink and a bread crumb at church. In some churches, it’s a scheduled service event, ‘prepared and taken’ one time a month. Some churches take it together, eating the body as a body and drinking the cup as a body, all at the same time. Other church bodies take it individually, waiting until each person has decided in their heart to go receive.
“To go receive”…
I think this is an obedient act of humility, one in which people willingly choose to partner with the identity of Jesus Christ in His suffering.
And I believe and have just realized that for some saints, self included, choosing to suffer with Jesus is a loving act of obedience, one somberly taken and intentionally chosen. To “take communion” for some is to willingly enter into the suffering of Jesus after having tasted the sweetness of His joy. For others, sorrow and pain have been all too familiar and mourning has become an expression. For these who will receive comfort, “taking communion” may be learning to step into the joy of Jesus. Both enter into Jesus’ emotions, and both can “go receive”.
If part of communion is being together, I would guess there’s mutual understanding that another’s presence is pleasurable.
If the communion I take and eat is the body and the blood, I “go receive” and later sit at the feet of the one broken for me. Pleasure for me, was given through Divine atrocity.
I wonder if Jesus finds His body, the Church, Life-Giving. I wonder what He thinks about our communion. Our communion with Him. Our communion with each other.
Does our communion look like His communion?
When He desires the marriage supper of the Lamb, does He desire something which has never before happened or have we seen glimpses of it on earth?
What does it mean to prepare communion?
What does it look like for each person to personally “take communion” and “to go receive” communion?
Communion represents unity for us and disunity from the Father for Jesus.
Will I suffer with Him and also enter into His joy? Will I embrace the fullness of the communion of the Lord, as He defines it?