Numerous ministries help facilitate the celebration of the Eucharist, but one, the Ministry of the Assembly, to which all belong, is central. On these beautiful days of autumn, take some time to reflect on your role in this important ministry by reflecting on this excerpt from Yours Is A Share by Austin Fleming.
“Yours is a share in the work of the Spirit of all that is holy, for in who you are and in what you do is found the most powerful experience of the sacred.
Yours is the kingdom community whose very assembling is sacrament of God’s presence in the world. In the living words, gestures, sacrifice, and meal of your common prayer, the living God is disclosed as the faithful and redeeming Lord whose tent is pitched among us.
Yours is to be nothing more and nothing less than the body of Christ.
Yours is the ministry of being the beloved and espoused of God. Through your lives and in your midst the tidings of salvation are faithfully proclaimed.
Yours is the work of telling and handing on the story of God’s mercy. You are the people who embody the promise of life forever. For the world you are evidence that the word of judgment is tempered with compassion.
Yours is the ministry of celebrating again and again the Passover meal of the new Covenant.
Your sacrifice of praise is a hymn to the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Yours is the work of gathering at that table which welcomes all who turn their hearts back to God.
Yours is the ministry to bring bread and wine, to give thanks, to break and share the bread, to bless and share the cup—remembering Christ Jesus broken and poured out for your sakes.
Come to your ministry from your personal prayer: it is the home from which you journey to the house of God’s people.
Come prepared to be surprised by God’s word and presence in the assembly of your neighbors.
Come as you are! Come as sinners who need to find mercy, as the redeemed who need to give thanks.
Come with all that needs to be healed, to the Lord who comes to heal you.
Come with no expectations, save the sure hope of communion with the Holy One in the family of God’s people. If your community’s liturgy is alive and beautiful, take care lest you begin to worship your worship: this is idolatry. If your community’s liturgy needs help—offer it!
Model your community’s liturgy on Christ’s divine service, not on the experience of neighboring parishes. The liturgy your parish offers is often a mirror of the life your parish lives: look into that mirror and see what you will see; then do what must be done.
When visitors praise and thank you for the worship you have offered, take delight in the blessing they have received and rejoice in the work the Lord has accomplished through you.
Be faithful in the work you do, for through it the Lord saves his people.”