Read: Jeremiah 18:1-11 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
As I came into my third decade of life I had a life-changing moment, a spiritual conversion of sorts. It came at a Maundy Thursday service in 2010 when I was asked to read a passage from the 1st Letter from Paul to the Corinthians, “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the Because Israel had broken the old covenant, the prophet Jeremiah declared that God would establish a new covenant, one that would be written on the heart. The New Testament is often referred to as the New Covenant because Jesus came to fulfill the law and... More in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
I spent almost my entire life swinging from all-out believer to apparent atheist and back again. As a kid, I only went to church to be with my grandma but always loved the stories and the music. In my teens years I was too busy for church and no one I knew believed in God, so I decided I didn’t either. However, there were still times when I went to church – usually during occasions of sorrow, or confusion. I never could explain my need to go to church, and it certainly didn’t make me go on a regular basis. But for brief, inexplicable moments, I found peace in those buildings.
Everything changed when I had my eldest child. Suddenly, it was very important to me that they be baptized and raised in a church. During the Baptismal interview, my newly-found minister asked me one very important question – why do I want my child to be baptized? I couldn’t answer that question right away – I just knew it was something I had to do, something my heart was telling me to do.
Subsequently, we started coming to church. Only on Mondays at first, as it was a more laid-back, contemplative service where you could choose how much you participated. I was very hesitant in the beginning, unsure of my beliefs and my reasons for being there. I didn’t even take part in communion the first few times we came.
I did, however, decide to attend services during Holy is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More Week, beginning with Maundy Thursday. I was asked at the last minute to read the An epistle, simply, is a letter or message. As many as twenty-one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament are epistles, letters written to churches or persons for instruction, pastoral care, or discipline. More and, having not read a bible in many years, had no idea what I was about to read. I think I hesitated somewhere around “this is my body”. The realization of the words I was about to speak struck me speechless. The Eucharistic Prayer is such an important part of Jesus’ story; I was humbled and honoured to be speaking these words aloud. Silly as it seems, in my head, these words should have only been spoken by priests.
Suddenly, I felt the weight of something on my right shoulder, like a hand lending comfort and strength. I looked over but of course there was no one there. Just the A priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More, sitting in her chair, head down in prayer and listening to the reading. It was a very powerful moment. I knew in my heart that God touched my shoulder that night, telling me it was okay to go on, to finish reading the prayer. I felt a presence in those words, a presence that I felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As my lips sounded out the words of the Eucharistic prayer, I knew my life had changed forever. That night, I became a A disciple is a person who accepts and follows the pronouncements of a teacher. Jesus chose twelve disciples (also called "apostles" in some of the Gospels) to follow him and bear witness to his message Anyone who (like them) follows Jesus is engaged in Christian... More of Jesus.
That’s when I really started listening to the readings, to the songs, to the prayers. I learned the Lord’s Prayer as a child, but I never really listened to the words. Same with all the music. Most of it was the same as when I was younger, but only after that Maundy Thursday service I really started to understand the meaning of the words behind the music.
As I began hearing the words, not just listening to them, I finally understood what God had been trying to say to me all these years – that God is here, that God wants to be a part of my life, and that God loves me. God’s words are beautiful and have changed my life.
I have received so many lessons throughout my life that I finally stopped to listen and let God’s hands guide me in the right direction. As easy as clay in a potter’s hands, a person can be reshaped by turning their mind and heart to God. By reading the word of God, praying to God, and listening to God, we can all be the clay in the hands of the Divine Potter.
Questions for reflection:
- Sometimes we need a little nudge to head in the right direction. Have you ever had a moment in your life where you could physically feel the touch of God?
- Doubt and faith have always walked together. Have you always believed in God, or did you have a spiritual conversation of some kind?
- God calls us to be evangelists. Are you willing to talk about the moments where God touches your life, or do you keep it tucked away inside your heart?