In the lingering final moments that Jesus Christ shared with His disciples before He knew that He would willingly lay down His life on our behalf, what did He do?
“After He took bread, gave thanks, and broke it and gave it to them...”
In the original language, “gave thanks” is written eucharisteo. He gave thanks. He broke apart. He gave. The bread. Himself. Eucharisteo.
The root word of eucharisteo in the Greek is charis meaning gift or grace. He took the bread and saw it as a gift. He held it and gave thanks. Is not all we have been given us by the Giver of all? Do we see the common like bread and drink as pure grace, unmerited gifts from He who can do nothing but give? Do we take up each moment of life in this way, both the mundane and the trials of life?
Charis also forms the root of the Greek word chara, meaning joy. Those three words...grace, thanksgiving, joy...come together. In all circumstances, even in our greatest trial, we can receive from Him this sustenance. Now served to us with nail-scarred hands, first we taste of grace—that He delights in us in His generous benevolence. Then we savor it with thanksgiving that both springs up from our spirit and nourishes us right down to our souls. And our dessert? Joy! Joy...from thanksgiving...from grace, freely bestowed on us, His beloved.
With the taking, with the thanking, comes the breaking. As we feast upon His eucharisteo, so we then take our lives...our time, our talents, our treasure...and in the power of grace and in the spirit of thanksgiving, “break” them to share them with a hungry world around us—our spouse, our children, our extended family, our community, our world. It is our gift...not waiting until we think they deserve it or have earned it, but because freely we have received; therefore, freely we give.
In this, there is life. A greater alive life than we could imagine. For ourselves. And those our lives touch. And also...death. Death to self and pride. Many every day crosses we carry, with the strength of His presence, His sustenance, His grace. All for the joy set before us. And for His joy.
As He lived, ready to die hours later, are we living likewise? Living, dying...rising to live again? All within the grace, thanksgiving and joy of eucharisteo. A word for fearless, full living. And dying.
We live it, do it, in remembrance of Him.
I am gratefully and deeply indebted to Ann for the original idea.