This coming Sunday, Advent 2, we'll be discussing God's Presence Among Us in liturgy, preaching and sacraments, and I'm going to give the people in my class a copy of this holy reflection for Maundy Thursday by Paul Hammer. If you're not familiar with Dr. Hammer, he offered one of the Taking the Bible Seriously talks they posted on the old UCC site. You still can find it at the link I provided.
love one another
Jesus, how common can you get? Foot washing, bread, wine!
If you're going to be religious, at least use something special.
No, my friend, I came not to perform special religious rites
But to touch the daily life of everyone
With God's love in the commonest of things.
O.K., water, bread, wine.
But isn't foot washing a bit ridiculous?
And what about "this is my body"?
And "this cup is the new covenant in my blood"?
Foot washing is the work of the commonest servant—I came to serve.
But it points beyond to the "washing" of the cross—
God's self-giving service in me to cleanse away estrangement
And heal the distortions in people's lives.
The bread points to nourishment in that same self-giving of God
At work in my body, that is in me.
And the cup points to the new community drawn together and nourished
In my blood, that is in God's total self-giving in my death.
Do you mean that this common stuff of water, bread and wine
Becomes in you the very focus of God's love for me and for the world?
That there is no excuse for my not loving my common neighbor?
Because you have shown the depth of God's love for me?
You've got it!
But it isn't a love for special occasions.
It has to be that daily love that's as common as water, bread and wine!