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Risen Christ beyond time,

Spirit spanning the ages,

we come starving to your banquet.

Surely, this diet of grace will reset

our anxious systems.
This remembrance of love will soften

how hard we are on ourselves and others.
The hope we find now for the future feast
will keep our timeline in perspective.

Today, though, we sense a particular hunger pang for a larger communion of saints than we see around us.
While we may follow a friend forward to receive the elements from a kind stranger,

we long to fill all the gaps,
stuff all the spaces
with faces who’ve mirrored to us our dignity,
eyes who’ve seen us in a crowd,
smiles who’ve known our story,
arms who’ve held our weakness,
bodies who’ve traveled our road for awhile.

Whether we saw them last week or decades ago,
whether they walk down other aisles in other time zones
or on the other side of this thin veil,
give us a palpable sense of their presence at your table.

Let us feel our boundaries burst,
our frayed edges open wide,
our vulnerable oneness claim again their belonging to us,
our belonging to them.

Here at your table,
host us as we hold their hands.

If we drift off into a happy memory,

so be it.
If we sob in grateful grief, so be it.

If we whisper their names when we hear it said,

“The body of Christ given for you,” so be it.

Feed our hunger for deep communion, Lord.


Julie VanDerVeen Van Til

Julie VanDerVeen Van Til is the pastor of Flossmoor Community Church in Flossmoor, Illinois. She and her family enjoy music, theater, books and travel. They especially enjoy exploring National Parks, interactive museums, and anyplace with water in the summertime. .

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