“They said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”’
The Taizé song, Eat This Bread is a song that comes to mind as I think of the powerfully personal and yet also communal and universal nature of communion. Something about hearing these verses chanted again and again allows me to focus on the power of Christ’s presence in communion. The simplicity of Taizé music is in repeating the verses again and again, being meditative and silencing all the other ‘stuff’ so the words become truly my conversation with God.
I am not trying to remember words, or what is next, or worrying about what could go wrong, I am present. To be present in communion through the repetitive verses, means both hearing the words sung and also allowing them to wash over me. I am hearing Christ speak these words of truth to me. I am hearing these words of promise spoken to those I serve. I am hearing these words of hope for what will be.
Gracious Lord, we come to you and trust in you truly receiving that bread of life in communion. While we may not truly comprehend all you have promised till that day you come again, we hope and trust. Allow our songs to be lifted up as both praise and petition. Strengthen us to continue in this journey of faith, in your precious name we pray, Amen.