Separation and Connection
A reflection from Llandaff Diocese written by Jimmy Page, an ordinand (someone in training for ordination).
Ordinand Jimmy Page writes… Maundy Thursday 9th April
We who are many are one Bread, one Body; for we are all partakers of the one Bread (CiW 1984). This week I had the pleasure of experiencing my first online Mass. Initially, as this situation evolved, I hadn’t seen the point of all these online Masses people were planning to do. I had been a pretty vocal advocate of online services generally, and in particular of live streamed services which I considered more personable, because you see them as they happen rather than hours or days later.
But I had seen the idea of an online Mass somewhat superfluous, thinking that since I would be unable to partake of the sacrament myself, watching someone else do it was rather pointless.
I was mistaken.
As I discovered when Brecon Cathedral (the mother church of my own diocese and so holding a special place in my own heart) announced that they would be streaming/broadcasting online their Sunday Eucharist. The joy I felt when I heard this was wonderful, though a little surprising and my brain had to do a complete and very sharp U-turn to keep up with what my heart was telling it I now believed.
These feelings were fully confirmed by the service itself. Once I had turned my laptop sideways so I could see what was going on, I began to feel a real connection not only to the three people in the Cathedral but also to all the others watching… and in fact all the people that weren’t. At the point when the peace came and I shared the peace with my own family, I found I was much more conscious of the Body of Christ. Humans are generally quite simple creatures, and when we say
‘One Bread … one Body’;
it is easy to think of that in terms of the congregation currently gathered. But take that congregation away, lock us all in our houses and rather than causing me to feel separated from the Body of my own congregation it made me feel more aware of, and more connected to the Body of Christ as a whole.
As St Paul writes in Romans 12:5 “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members of one another.”
Some very trying times are ahead of us, there is no denying this, but right now I am taking comfort in these words. We are members of one another and whatever challenges face us in the days to come, we will face them together, as the Body of Christ. If we remain true to each other and hold each other in prayer then nothing can separate that One Body.