Gathering

We come here
only to go again

The tables are here now
but by tomorrow they will be gone

This gathering:
for one night only

A quick bite
just a taste
a minding

Come and gather round
the table that is between times
We do not live here
or settle down here
We are in transit
We are on the way

 

Reflection

Fast food communion
it is all temporary
for we live between times.

Bread is not the banquet of a settled monarch
celebrating his or her long reign over the earth.
Bread and wine is a speedy meal
to keep us going between times,
a kingdom snack that promises something more to come

Bread and wine isn’t an end in itself
it is a lay-by meal
a quick energy boost
a pit-stop
before we hit the road again
of this transitory world
where we live between times

Whoever wants to build a kingdom here
whoever wants to establish anything
to put down foundations
will never know the kingdom
for this is not the kingdom
we live between the kingdom now
and its consummation.

We are travellers,
itinerants,
wayfarers,
who need only enough
to get us to the next lay-by;
that is all the bread and wine are.

This isn’t meant to be the stuff of tradition
surrounded by rituals
and rules

This is a practical meal
enough
and only enough
to get us back on the road
for we are living
(if we trust any of the words of Jesus)
between times
between kingdoms
This isn’t it
This is only the way

and here is our signpost
the clue
the dream
the hope

that’s all:
This table is temporary
and the more we put on it
the more traditions we set here
the more ritual we have to go through
to get top the bread and wine
the more it slows us down
in getting to God’s destination

This is the sign
not the kingdom;
this is the hint
not the purpose;
we live between times
let us not settle here
or fix our hopes here

but such is the power of remembering

it is enough to send us out

and not to linger

until next we meet again

Let us eat
and get on our way

Fast Food

                            A Communion Service

Food Stories

(a scripture reading of sorts)

As we sit at the table tonight… we gather round not one particular bible passage… some psalm… some words of Jesus… but round the remembered story of meals of the kingdom… We read not from the bible… but rely on our memories… for what lies in our memories… are the stories that mean most to us… that have found a place to be fixed in our faith memory… and such meal stories… are many in the bible…

Can you think of some…

There is the wee boy with the basket… that somehow becomes a banquet for 5000… on the go… They are out for the day… they need something to eat… and this picnic food… becomes fast food… eaten in a transitory place… between home and holiday… between where they live and where Jesus preaches… between Jesus present… and Jesus gone… between times…

But there are more…

There is a tax collector… who was as far away as could be from thinking what was in his cupboards that morning… only to find he was about to feed the saviour from them… What did he offer… a piece of yesterday’s bread?… some figs or dates… did he have to quickly clear upon before Jesus got there?… This was a quick bite to eat… between one life and another… between one state of grace and another…

But there are more…

Elijah in the desert… fed by the ravens… who brought snatches of bread… for a while… in the midst of a famine… This was the kingdom meal… flown in piecemeal… There was no banquet… no standing on ceremony… but a small morsel… enough to keep going… between feast and famine… between escape and capture for the hunted Elijah by queen Jezebel… between times… This was an outlaw’s snack…

But there are more…

Of a whole nation in the outback… between Egypt and Canaan… between oppression and freedom… and each morning… the manna… soft and fresh in the morning… but dissolved by noon… where it could not be stored up… enough for only enough… and no seconds… This was a temporary stop-gap meal… for a temporary existence… between times…

But there are more…

A table… with disciples… in an upper room… flat bread and bitter wine… all part of a rich tradition a 1000 years old… full of ritual and heritage… but in the middle of this meal… Jesus turns it into food to go… bread is broken and wine shared and hardly has the crumbs been returned to the table… Jesus is up and out… and heading for the next world… What was fixed in time and place… became that night… a meal for the way… for Jesus and us all… live between times… The kingdom has come right in the middle of where we are… yet it is still to come…

It is these temporary meals… these quick bites… that shape our communion… for the bible says… we are not settled… grounded… fixed… we have not arrived… yet… we are between times… we are on the way…


 

Prayer

As you host this meal
between times, O God
in this temporary lay-by in life
ad the world shifts between the dark
and the light
and as we are invited to attend here
feasting only enough
to confirm the promise
till the next time
may we be able to let go
and not hold on
to what we do
may we not try and save you
or capture you
but find you
with us here
between worlds
in the traveling
the seeking
the wandering
in the transient promises of this world
and as we eat
this temporary meal
we hear angels singholy holy holy God
God of power and might
heaven and earth are full of your glory
hosanna in the highest
blessed is the one who comes in your name
hosanna in the nighest

So may we share here
what is shared in heaven
and know here
the promise
between times
that we are accompanied
on the way.

So be it
Amen

 

New Kilpatrick Parish Church

Rev Roddy Hamilton

0141 942 8827

 

Worship every Sunday at 10.30 and Wednesday 12 noon

The Church Office is open Mon-Fri: 9-12nooon

Scottish Charity SC012997

All material on this website is copyright New Kilpatrick Church

 

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