I hear the words before communion almost every Sunday. They often just wash over me, but I don't always listen carefully. Recently, I was actually paying attention when they were said, perhaps because I was in a different setting, perhaps because the Holy Spirit was doing something in me.
Jesus took the bread and said "This is my body." (paraphrase) Well, it couldn't actually be his body; he was standing right there. So what was he saying? In that moment what I heard was, I am that which sustains and gives life. I am the simple piece of bread at your table. I am with you in this everyday item giving you life. It didn't seem to be about a moment, but a declaration of who Jesus is.
Jesus took the wine and said "This is my blood." (paraphrase) Jesus doesn't just sustain us, but adds to our life. Jesus gives life to our life. He brings meaning and celebration. He isn't just the ordinary bread but the wine which is a celebration. The joy we have from life comes from Jesus; he is present in those moments breathing life into the party so to speak.
So it seems we sell ourselves short when we put God in ritual. God is bigger than our rituals, our festivals. God is in our life. God is our life. It isn't about believing in some man in the sky, but about embracing the life we are given to the fullest. Live on. Live free. Jesus is part of it.