“The Cup of Salvation!”

Image Description: Hands holding communion bread and a light-colored chalice of wine. Public domain image.

If you’re a part of a liturgical church community, or perhaps if you were raised in one, you may know that when people come forward to receive the communion meal together, servers will often say particular phrases while they offer the bread and the cup:

“This is Christ’s body, broken for you.”
“This is Christ’s body, given for you.”
“The Bread of Life.”
“Receive what you are, the Body of Christ.”

“This is Christ’s blood, shed for you.”
“This is the life of Christ, given for you.”
“This is the Cup of the Covenant.”
“This is the Cup of Salvation.”

I prefer some of these to others, but they are examples of what you might hear.

Many years ago, I was living in Austin, Texas, and often, I would share this meal together with college students. I was just one year out of undergrad myself, and the oldest students in this community became some of the closest friends of my life. They still are. Today, I’m remembering a wonderful moment when we shared this meal together.

Two of my friends were servers, and as people came forward, they continued to say these phrases:

“This is the Bread of Life.”
“This is the Cup of Salvation.”

They said them very quietly, kind of reverently.

But then one of them turned to the other and said, “Why do we always whisper it?” I was nearby so I heard this, and it made me smile. After asking that question, they started staying these things much more loudly — with declaration, with confidence!

“The Cup of Salvation!” They didn’t yell it or make a joke of it. They just said it with confidence. Except it did make us smile because it was so out of the ordinary. We got what they were doing. It was wonderful.

A word like ‘salvation’ may seem like Christiany jargon. And given how some Christians are behaving and asserting faith publicly against others these days, we may bristle at a term like salvation. Too often, that word has been used to assert who is “in” and who is “out.”

But one of its primary meanings is healing — simply and wonderfully, healing. Like salve. How wonderful it is to imagine people saying with confidence,

“This is the cup of healing!”
“Healing is possible!”
“This healing is for you!”
“This healing is for us!”
“This healing connects us to each other and the larger world!”
“This healing calls us to be healers!”

This is one more reason that this Eucharist meal — again, Eucharist means, Good Gift — is a prelude to all our meals and all our connecting. It sends us outward to live this way all over the place.

With confidence!

Good gifts.


Every day,
Every moment,
Every meal,
Every relationship.

Renee Roederer

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