Eucharist is the presence of God calling us to presence. Presence is more than attention. It is self-gift and relational. Each person’s experiences are complex and transforming. Imagine then the potential that is possible through the complexity of experiences in a gathered worshipping assembly.
Spirituality has a primary focus on God’s activity—what God has done, what God is doing. Individuals grow in their awareness of God’s engagement with life through prayer and reflection. Through that process, people discern that God’s activity is always relational and has meaningful purpose. People thus desire to share and broaden their experience in community. Community provides opportunities for people to respond in faith for all that God has done.
Ideally, sacraments are symbols that celebrate God’s presence in the life experiences of the community. Through ritual, sacraments present our story of faith. We are transformed (just as bread and wine are transformed). The result of genuine sacrament is people with a new commitment to God’s activity in the world.
Without a renewed commitment, the experience of the gathered assembly may well be nothing more than deceptive ritualism. The cost of authentic sacrament is high. Honest worship reveals how a community welcomes God’s vision for the world and witnesses their active participation in what God is doing.