Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Take to the World: Derek Webb and the Eucharist...

This past year our youth ministry began a new experience called Cafe EucharistiaThe hope was for youth in our congregation to be able to engage one another in conversations that pertain to life and faith, the sacraments and our missional vocation, the gospel and our culture.  We even thought we could consider what it means not only to gather around the Eucharistic table each month, but also be sent from it and into the world.  This past month we explored three music pieces as a part of the Cafe:

1. Become to Us the Living Bread (Hymn #500 in the PCUSA Hymnal)
2. Take to the World (Derek Webb , above)
3. Carried to the Table (Leeland, click for song, not a huge fan of video but you at least get the song...)

While it is difficult to be overly engaged with high school students on a Sunday morning right before they head back to school after a Christmas break that has threatened to turn their brains into mush, it was a great opportunity to reflect on the Eucharist.  My prayer has been, as with other volunteers, that as we continue to do life and community with youth in the church that the sacred and sending table and the sacred and sending waters of baptism would be reclaimed as central to all we do as youth pastors and ministries.  They want it. They need it. They love it. They crave it.  Even more, it reminds them that they are a part of something so much bigger, far more beautiful, and certainly more life giving than the consumer driven products and packaged materials that have become the life and breath of contemporary youth minsitry.   We think that is what they want.  However, in such poor assumptions we have underestimated the hearts, minds, and callings of today's youth and their ability to engage the rich tradition they are a part of and the sacred symbols that invite them to be God's people in and for the world.

What's even crazier, some students prefer Hymn 500 over Webb and Leeland ;)

Here is a great resource for fellow youth workers:

Book, Bath, Table, Time: Christian Worship As a Source and Resource for Youth Ministry by Fred P. Edie

Other Thoughts to Ponder:
“The Lord’s Supper is therefore also the sacrament of human participation in the divine life by sharing life with each other…There is an intrinsic connection between responsible participation in the Lord’s Supper and commitment to a fairer distribution of the goods of the earth to all its people.”
---Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding, 295

“Eucharist also reveals the goodness of God’s creation, the church as Christ’s Body in the world, and our vocation to live as a hospitable people. In other words, you could say that Eucharist embodies an exhaustive curriculum for Christian life. Liturgical scholars are also assisting the church in recovering the Lord’s Supper as more than a memory device (“a reminder…”) but as a eschatological enactment, one that nourishes the baptized by remembering the past and representing the future.”
---Fred P. Edie, Book, Bath, Table, and Time, p. 39

“In this meal the Church celebrates the joyful feast of the people of God, and anticipates the great banquet and marriage supper of the Lamb. Brought by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s presence, the Church eagerly expects and prays for the day when Christ shall come in glory and God be all in all. Nourished by this hope, the Church rises from the Table and is sent by the power of the Holy Spirit to participate in God’s mission to the world, to proclaim the gospel, to exercise compassion, to work for justice and peace until Christ’s Kingdom shall come at last.”
--- PCUSA Book of Order, W-2.4007