We break bread and the youngest daughter, she’s scared of the cup. Her Papa holds it to her but she cries, and when her eyes clench, I think, isn’t that just how we all ought to feel? It’s as dark as the tomb in that belly of a challis, cold and completely unknown. And to us who do know, we say there’s life?
She nibbles her cracker while the rest wait still, then hopefully asks for more. Her Papa smiles.
“She’d like to have more of Christ’s body, please,” I say. And wouldn’t we all?
When we’ve all sipped the sweet, dark juice, and the silence still haloes the table, her brother asks if they can share what remains. So he tips the challis to take deep draughts, gulping down the life-blood. We all laugh, and pass the cup, and drink deeply, fully, of Christ.
Not gluttony, this, the abandon of a child–a wild rejoicing, a gladness free. The holy bubbles up like laughter, springs from the somber grief-memory and spills, tumbles, into jubilee. If the wine were oil, I’d pour it over your heads, children, letting it run down your faces, onto your breasts and hands and clothes; letting it cascade, rivulets of joy. Lift your face like Aaron, boy, and drink. Drink.
Because daughter? There’s life in that tomb-belly. Life. That’s what the mystery means.
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; Like the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133:2-3