How we express our one relationship with God in Christ…

The art of giving thanks ties all of our relationships to God. Either life is about stuff and developing unconvincing ways to justify how it is that one feels entitled to collect and own it. Or, life is about how the stuff is really gift after all because it can be used to express the sentiment of the Giver and thus be put straightway to the task of serving relationship with God by deepening our experience and love for the Gracious One, from whom all stuff cometh. For this reason generations of mothers and fathers have taught; when you receive a gift, the proper response is always and simply to say thank you, which is saying a lot. It is saying that we value the Giver before the gift and above the gift and thus we cherish the relationship therein.

Eucharist is a Greek word that refers to the act of giving thanks. Eucharist is worship in thanksgiving for a relationship with God which itself is a blessing or happiness that Christians call grace and for which Christians give thanks. So abundant is this blessing that it overflows boundaries and multiplies its abundance until we are able to experience our one relationship with God in three different ways: as relationship with self, relationship with other, and relationship with God’s creative order.

Each of these three ways of expressing our one relationship with the Holy One sets a different context for the Church’s ministry. Ministry is how the Church says thank you to God by entering upon the grace of the Giver himself and then taking it and blessing it and giving it away. Thus, the ministry of St. Martin of Tours is ordered in what follows around these three expressions of our one relationship with God in Christ.

Father Jim Wallace
Rector
St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church
Chattanooga, Tenn.

God                     Self                           Others                     Creation

Hand to God   Hands to Self Hand to OtherHand to Creation