Vicar Maggie Westaby
What does it mean to be in relationship? From a biological standpoint, relationships are all about intricate connections. There are so many interconnections that exist throughout all of creation…. and we are just starting to understand them. Because we are all connected, from a scientific standpoint, and…. we are all connected and united through God in Christ.
Yet despite the multitude of interconnections, personal relationships are also unique. Because personal relationships are different depending on the person you are in relationship with. The relationship with one’s mother is different than the relationship with a friend, a pet, or a barista at your favorite coffee shop... And yet… there is one constant to every relationship...God.
Because God is a part of every relationship that you have, regardless if you recognize God’s presence in that relationship or not. Because God desired to be in relationship with creation…… so much so, that God gave God’s self to us in the flesh and blood of Christ.
Which means that God truly understands what it is like to be human and to be in relationship. For Jesus experienced relationships. He experienced love, laughter, joy, community, pain, hurt, betrayal, trauma, aloneness, and death. All of the things that happen to us and all of the things that happen in our relationships with one another….
But sometimes relationships are hard… There are times when a loving relationship might seem lost or broken…where we are left with feelings of hurt, anger, sadness or despair… Because sometimes there is no easy fix, because life is messy… and no matter what our best intentions are, they simply don’t work out, because we cannot control relationships or situations… But no matter what happens, God is always there for you—to lay down those heavy thoughts, to listen to your anger, your sorrow or frustrations.
Because God loves you unconditionally…. Meaning that God’s love is not dependent upon you doing everything perfectly…. because God knows that perfection is not even a possibility…. Because we are all broken and flawed human beings…. Which is why Christ body has broken for you….
Showing us, that even in our brokenness, we are united with God, in Christ.
And that is what we are reminded of in communion. Because Christ’s body was broken for you God’s very being becomes a part of you. For Christ became flesh so that we could encounter God’s unconditional love in our flesh… So that it could manifest in our bodies and so that we can share this same love with all of creation.
Because this love is more than an emotion; it is an embodied action… And it is a part of you.
Because through communion God is giving you strength, peace, renewal, and forgiveness so that we can embody those traits when we leave this space….
Because being in communion with God allows us to enter a new space, a place where all are invited into a relationship that spans time and space. A space where we are united with all who have come before and all who will come after…Because not even death can separate us from God, or from our loved ones who are no longer with us. Because God holds all relationships present and past in God’s very being.
And today, we will celebrate that space, with Andrew and Kasen as they partake in their first communion… A space where we all experience transformation through the forgiveness of sins... Which in turn opens us up to live our lives knowing that in Christ we find our salvation.
For it is through Christ’s death and resurrection, that Christ’s body is able to live on in us, so that we will never perish. Because communion is a foretaste of the feast to come, where we can taste the real richness that God has given to us. For it is here we find God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love.
Because God yearns to be in relationship with you. Because God is a part of all of all interconnections, God is in the midst of the microscopic relationships that constitute the vastness of the universe, and God is a part of you. And today in communion we will experience that transformation in our flesh, a transformation that never stops. A relationship that is never failing, and a love that is truly unconditional…Amen