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Real Presence

The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven. [Amen.]

The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation. [Amen.]

In the Eucharist service in our tradition, we take bread and wine in remembrance of the Body and Blood of Christ. Also in our tradition, we have a wide range of interpretations of what that means.We refer to this as the Real Presence. Some of us believe that the bread and the wine are "trans substantiated," they become the body and blood of Christ and some of us believe that the elements of bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of Christ and others of us believe all possibilities in between. (That's generally how we roll as Episcopalians - the middle way!)

I am not here to come down on one side or the other of this issue because I am not a scholarly thoughts this morning are more about the real presence of Christ in the Resurrection. A well known biblical scholar said recently that Jesus physically rose from the dead and to think of it as anything short of a miracle is wrong. Ok, I understand that. But I wasn't there, and I don't know what that really means. What I do know is that everywhere I go these days I see evidence of the real presence of Christ, and it is mostly in what I would call Resurrection images. I smell resurrection when I walk outside and am flooded by the fragrance of the gardenias and the star jasmine which looked a few months ago as though they would never bloom again. I hear resurrection in the voices of the eaglets who live in the trees above our house, the newest members of that eagle family that has been there forever, but disappear each year until it's time for the babies to be born. I see resurrection in the fern (actually called Resurrection fern) that grows on the trees or even on roofs that looks like dead crumbs until a good rain comes along and "resurrects" it. And I experience resurrection in the renewal of sacred relationships, in the epiphanies of peace and healing and hope despite discord and dissension, the coming together of long lost friends.

In my simple mind, none of these little resurrections would be possible without the Real Presence of the Living Christ, without the Real Presence of the Trinity: the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. And so every time I lift my hands for the Body of Christ and sip from the chalice the Blood of Christ, I am reminded of the Real Presence of Christ in every inch and iota of the world around me. Now that's Good News!


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