Daily Prayers for April 2

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us sing to the Lord: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Song “Be Thou My Vision”

Awake, O sleeper, rise from the dead : and Christ will shine on you.

Psalm 9:1 3, 9 10

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart : I will tell of all your marvelous works.

I will be glad and rejoice in you : I will sing to your name, O Most High.

When my enemies are driven back : they will stumble and perish at your presence.

The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed : a refuge in time of trouble.

Those who know your name will put their trust in you : for you never forsake those who seek you, O Lord.

Awake, O sleeper, rise from the dead : and Christ will shine on you.

Exodus 14:21 – 31 1 John 2:1 – 11

Awake, O sleeper, rise from the dead : and Christ will shine on you.

Fourth-century bishop Athanasius of Alexandria wrote, “That mystery the Jews traduce, the Greeks deride, but we adore. For it is a fact that the more unbelievers pour scorn on him, so much the more does he makes his Godhead evident. Thus by what seems his utter poverty and weakness on the cross he overturns the pomp and parade of idols, and quietly and hiddenly wins over the mockers and unbelievers to recognize him as God.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

God of power and might, you raised -Jesus from the dead after you had raised Israel out of Egypt. As we arise in the light of this new day, raise us to live by your power the life that only you can give.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

Eucharist and Communion

Eucharist is from the Greek eucharistein, meaning “thanksgiving.”

Communion is from the Latin, meaning “union with.”

One of the church’s peculiar practices is communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist. The early Christians were accused of being cannibals because they talked of eating flesh and drinking blood together. It was a way of remembering, as Christ had asked them to remember him in this way.

“Re-member-ing” has to do with becoming something new, the body of Christ, in which we lose ourselves in something bigger than ourselves; we are re-membered into a new body.

Sadly, and ironically, the sharing of the Eucharist or communion table is both the most unifying and the most divisive practice in the Christian church. After all, sacrament is a “mystery,” so we don’t want to try to systematically analyze the practice of Holy Communion. What we want to do is invite you into the deepest part of this mystery. We are what we eat.

When we take the wine and bread and eat it, we are digesting Christ — ​or an even better way of understanding might be that we are made into a new creation as we are digested into the body of Christ. Performing the Eucharist with a community makes us into the body of Christ. As often as Christians take the common elements of bread and wine, they re-member themselves into -Jesus. In the Eucharist, we don’t just remember -Jesus in general; we remember his suffering. The bread is a broken body, and the wine is poured like shed blood. Both grain and grapes have to be crushed and broken to become something new together. If you are what you eat, the Eucharist is indeed the act of uniting yourself with the one who lovingly suffered at the hands of his enemies. If you ritually cross yourself (like Catholics do), you are stamping upon yourself the sign of the cross; you are identifying with -Jesus’ suffering love. Those who ingest and become one with the suffering body of Christ all together become the body of Christ.

We pray as we take the elements that the blood of -Jesus would run through our veins and that we would be digested into the body of Christ. The early church used to say, “God became man that we might become God.” Certainly none of us is God alone, but all of us are God’s body together. God has chosen to have no hands but ours, no feet but ours. Maybe this is the greatest sacrament or mystery of our faith — ​that these broken pieces become one body.

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