I had a new insight during the Eucharist Sunday. Disclaimer: I'm not a theologian, nor do I play one on TV. But I saw the wine offered during communion in a new light yesterday.
First let me give a little background. Two things played into this thought process. First, as I've mentioned before, I'm writing a book on modern American Indian leaders. The first chapter of the book gives an overview of the status of American Indians today, and one of the things I address is how tribes define who qualifies to be enrolled as a member. Probably the most common definition is how much Indian blood a person has. Usually, at least one-fourth of a person's heritage must be from the tribe in question to qualify for membership.
Second, the main character of my novel in progress is one-eighth Chinese, which causes a subtle but ongoing issue in the novel. She looks more Chinese than she really is, but because of family circumstances, she knows nothing of the heritage, and the dichotomy between her appearance and her reality has made her touchy about her identity.
So these are the things that have been running through my mind lately connected to the issues of blood and heritage. They unexpectedly combined with my faith yesterday morning. When Reverend Kate raised the chalice during the consecration, I had one of those Ah ha moments. Jesus is giving us his blood, thus allowing God's own blood to be a part of us. He is making us a member of his race, a member of his tribe. To use the term we bandied about when we were kids, he is giving us a way to claim him as our "blood brother."
I think it's a very cool thought.