O Lord my God, You are very great! . . .the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your work. . . .You cause the grass to grow for the livestockAnd plants for man to cultivate,That he may bring forth food from the earthAnd wine to gladden the heart of mortal man,Oil to make his face shineAnd bread to strengthen mortal man’s heart.--Psalm 104, excerpts
What lifts my mortal heart to altitudes of great height?
What breaks the bonds of gravity and lifts to gladness?
What causes my heart to delight?
The Creator God, whom my soul praises,
has given wine to gladden this mortal woman’s heart
has given friendship
has given a pull to praise the One who calls her beloved.
My God, in whom my soul delights!
to whom my intellect surrenders
--laying down the burdens of thoughts and ponderings--
in whom my emotions find refuge, understanding, and encouragement,
from whom I receive my body, beautifully and wonderfully made,
Which processes these fermented grapes,
in a kind of joyous surrender,
trusting grace, releasing control
and delighting in the indwelling Spirit
in being delighted in.
This grace, which I can not understand,
I instead stand within
knelling in awe
lifted in love.
This creature, a comingling of dust, water, and breath,
fragile and powerful at once
--the power coming through the weakness--
made giddy by fruit of the vine,
grafted into the vine,
the sap flowing, reviving, nourishing.
Praise be to the One who lifts the humble from the dust!
I am dust and I am made a little lower than the angel.
You, my Lord, are wonder-full!
I am filled with awe,
and I lift my hands, my heart, my soul, to You.
This vine, I receive this gift, and I praise the Giver.
It pulses through me, the heat in my face.
This symbol of connectedness to the One true vine.
I remember You,
as Your grace redeems my memories.
This bread, I receive, and it strengthens this frail heart.
As seed I must die and be buried with Christ.
Strengthen this fearful heart
May I chew
and eat this body,
and may the memory of Your sacrifice embolden me
to die and
to rise again
new with body unknown.
I surrender—my life, my understanding, my desires--
That I may be reborn, remade, and
Broken to offer my life to others—my brothers, my sisters.
For who is my brother? Those who do Your will.
Those who would do Your will,
but for bread to strengthen their hearts
overcome their fears.
Break me as You were broken.
Pour me as You were poured.
And I will be reborn with You.