My dear Brethren,
Please accept these humble musings with my wish that they encourage us as we abstain or fast today. Please intercede for us all as we enjoy this year’s episcopal visit.
“Therefore the LORD God [YHWH Elohim] sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24
Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden Sanctuary in Eden. The Cherubim (angelic guardians) along with a turning flaming sword are placed so the newly fallen couple could not return to eat of the Tree of Life. Adam and Eve are forced to fast from the sacramental Tree of Life given to them for food. Some measure of heaven’s life, the eternal life, the life of the Holy Trinity was to regularly be communicated to them through consuming Tree of Life fruit. The eating of it was to be communion with God through the reception of this gracious gift. It represents the fulfillment of mans deepest need and longing to be loved by God and the pledge of eternal dwelling with God.
Sin’s breach intensifies the need and longing which is answered when Jesus proclaims to the multitude,
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:35-40
Our abstinence and fasting should remind us ever more deeply that all hunger is really a hunger for God.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” John 6:53-58
Jesus is the Tree of Life. If we understand this, one thing is sure, the worship of Holy Communion takes on enormous importance.
May the Lord find our fasting intentions this day acceptable in His sight,