46 My soul magnifies the Lord,
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
As I was distributing the bread during Holy communion today, a little girl exclaimed with joy something like “Oh, goodie! I got a big piece!!” and showed it to her mom.
I loved the joy. I loved the enthusiasm. I also love the metaphor. Would that we could all come to communion with the exuberant joy that we got a “big piece” – the fullness of God’s love and mercy.
There was a woman, once, who came back from a retreat in that same exuberant joy. She said she had always known God loved her. But she described the love she had experienced as those little pieces of bread. “Now,” she said, “I’ve gotten the whole loaf!”
We tell the story about the prodigal son. The word prodigal means something like wasteful, over-the-top. But the story is not about a prodigal son. It is about a prodigal father, a father who lavishes gifts upon his child – and lavishly receives him home again.
A lot is going on in that story, but we all recognize the portrait of heaven’s extravagant, reckless love. We are miserly with God’s love and mercy, sometimes. Miserly in handing it out. Miserly in receiving it. I wish that every Sunday morning we could all see and rejoice that we have gotten a big piece!