Sweet God, thank you for embracing us and showing your love for us. Your words, a mere backdrop for your radical demonstration of love, are spoken over us and through us to cleanse us and renew us. Your story speaks louder than our doctrines. Your image is clearer than our statements of faith. May we speak and demonstrate your love through story and image and through remembrance of your profound alternative version of who we are and what this world is meant for.

The empire of this world would prefer that we forget you, that we'd forget all the truth about you, so counter to its spoon-fed vision. Though the empire tells its own story of who we are, yours is greater and yours is truer and yours is good news.

We know that remembering you pits us against the ones with swords and resources. We know that remembering your story and demonstrating your image will lead us to the cross. Empires operate on the power of death. Remembering you will put us at the end of the sword, will put us under the weight or the wrath of death. We do not expect safety but in faith we expect victory and we expect that forgiveness and love will conquer coercive power and violence.

As we consume your body and blood in remembrance of you, you consume this whole story. Your arms wrap around even the sharpest edges of this world and the empires cannot escape them. Even death is within your grasp. For those who seek to escape you and forget you, the embrace is confusing and suffocating. But those who remember you are warmed by your embrace and are able to rejoice at the fall of the powers and principalities. Your kindness overwhelms the strongest force and tears down the highest walls. Your love penetrates the thickest brocades and calms the fiercest storm.

Let our souls rejoice in you, our savior. May our lives become the anthem of your love. Amen.