Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts” offers a beautiful depiction of what the eucharist represents for us as Christ followers. It’s an act of remembrance that stirs in us gratitude and joy and ultimately calls us into a new way of living.
In Ann’s book she writes about a challenge given to her by a friend – a challenge to write down one thousand things she loves. Throughout the book Voskamp lists a few of these things – soap suds in the sink, a full moon, even a Blue Jay in the tree in the backyard. She lists all these things she has come to realize she loves deeply and the recognition of this love brings her to an incredible conclusion. Ann writes,
“And I see it now for what this really is, this dare to write down one thousand things I love. It really is a dare to name all the ways that God loves me. The true Love Dare. To move into His presence and listen to His love unending and know the grace uncontainable. This is the vault of the miracles. The only thing that can change us, the world, is this – all His love.
Throughout her book Voskamp makes reference to the Eucharist – to this act of remembrance and to this heart of gratitude. Ann believes that “Eucharisteo takes us into His love.” She continues by saying,
“Isn’t this what ultimately Christ asks of us in the Last Supper? One of the very last directives He offers to His disciples, the one of supreme import but I too often neglect: to remember. Do this in remembrance of Me. Remember and give thanks. This is the crux of Christianity: to remember and give thanks, eucharisteo. Why? Why is remembering and giving thanks the core of the Christ-faith? Because remembering with thanks is what causes us to trust – to really believe … to give thanks is an action and rejoice is a verb and these are not mere pulsing emotions. While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving.”
So when we remember we participate in the act of thanksgiving. We engage in an act of trust and hope by being willing to remember the cost Jesus paid for us. So when we take the bread and the juice we participate in an act of gratitude – its our way of saying thank you for the sacrifice. But we are called to have that gratitude transform us and invite us into a new way of living and ultimately a new way of loving.