The church I frequently visit includes communion in their Sunday services every week –the kind where you stand up, walk down the aisle, and dip your bread into a cup of grape juice while someone looks you in the eye and says some variation of the words Christ’s body broken for you, Christ’s blood shed for you. It’s a rhythm I’ve grown to love, to look forward to, even. There’s something about the liturgical rhythm, the communal participation, and the tangible response that lets the truth sink in for me.

I’ve started to wonder, how different would life look if we looked each other in the eyes like this each week, a loud and clear reminder of this simple, eternity-altering truth? I think maybe, that’s the best we can do –to look each other in the face and remind us both of Christ’s body broken and Christ’s blood shed, to proclaim over God’s people this good-news Gospel that never gets old.

Christ’s body broken for you, Christ’s blood shed for you.

I’m quick to let these words soak in during Sunday morning communion, but not so quick to apply them to my mid-week mistakes and shortcomings, or to speak them over my closest neighbors when I feel hurt, wronged, or even slightly irritated. I, like the whole history of God’s people, am so prone to forget.

Over and over in Scripture, I see the warnings about forgetfulness, the call on God’s people to keep on remembering. Communion is exactly this –remembering together. While the logistics and frequency of communion aren’t specified, Jesus does call his people to “do this in memory of me.” We’re called to eat and drink and “proclaim Christ’s death until he comes.” Knowing our forgetful nature, he calls us to regular remembrance. A remembrance we can carry from our Sundays into our every days. Yes, we’re called to speak these words over bread and wine, but we also get to speak them over coffee cups, across kitchen tables, in the face of heartache and hurt feelings and unmet expectations.

Christ’s body broken for you, Christ’s blood shed for you.

I want to remember Jesus broken and poured out when I’m tempted to dwell on how I think things should have been or what I think I deserve, to allow the glorious and generous reality of the Gospel to transform the way I love my neighbor, to be quick to look people in the eye and remind them of Christ crucified until he comes.

Christ’s body broken for you, Christ’s blood shed for you.

Our basement is wet and moldy, and has left no storage container untouched. Our kitchen is in the early stages of renovation, and as far as I can tell, the dust has already reached every surface between here and Canada. My winter clothes are hanging in the living room, my treasured pour-over coffee routine now requires two or three trips upstairs to the bathroom sink, and our current outlet situation demands that you choose between powering the fridge or the microwave, the kettle or the wi-fi router. Not both.

While these are overwhelmingly privileged problems, to be sure, the state of our house seems to mirror the disarray existing inside of me. In such a jarring season, it’s easy to put my hope in what’s quick. The house will be clean again. Soon, I won’t be so sad. The kitchen will be finished in three weeks –and with a dishwasher. But the house will be messy soon after it’s clean, the sadness never passes as quickly as you’d like it to, the dishwasher will need to be unloaded. There will always be plenty of reasons, big and small, to resign myself to discontentment, dissatisfaction, disappointment with the things I hoped would be different.

So much of life is constantly changing –breaking, dirtying, shifting with a propensity for disorder. It’s why my hope was never meant to hinge on such things –the clean house, the new kitchen, the zeroed inbox, the promising relationship, the right job, the right feelings, the right haircut. None of these things are permanent, and there isn’t one that hasn’t let me down. But, my hope is in this:

He will set all things right.

Job said in the midst of unthinkable suffering, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.” He will be lifted high, we who are in Christ will be made like him, and all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. This is the surest thing. We can hang all of our hope here, and it will hold.

It’s striking to me that God can use the busted mundane to remind us that our hearts hunger for something sure, and to magnify the beauty of our ‘it is finished’ future. When my hope is fixed on Jesus, the messy house, the shifting feelings, the broken relationship, and even this renovation dust that’s spreading like the plague won’t lead me to despair. Let my longing for the restoration of these things teach me to hope in the restoration of all things, I whisper. And let it be so.

The other day, I stood with my heart on my sleeve and all of my feelings on the table, completely vulnerable and completely terrified. And it wasn’t until then that I saw this mighty thing that God has done –that He’s been doing for a long time.

Two summers ago, I sat on a plane sobbing over the words of Wild and Free and the realization that I might be the most defensive person that has ever lived. I was overwhelmed by this realization that I’d been operating in fear and lack and spent too much of my energy trying to keep my heart safe. I wanted to be vulnerable, to be known, to drop my convincing self-sufficient persona. I didn’t know how, or where to start. But I asked God to fix these broken parts of me me, and He did. He is.

I’ve learned that I can’t be really loved until I’m really seen, and I wasn’t ready to love unconditionally until I believed that I’m already loved unconditionally. Loving from a place of fear and lack and self-protection has left me disappointed and disappointing every time. It’s the security of the Gospel that makes us brave. That tells us we’re already safe. That allows us to love people and let ourselves be seen and know that even if it all goes to crap, we’ll be okay. We can love generously and graciously because we already have everything we need.

Johnathan Edwards gave these reasons for Christian happiness: that “Your bad things will turn out for good, your good things can never be taken away from you, and the best things are yet to come.” The gospel allows us to show up wide-open and unafraid because we’ve found our security in the finished work of Jesus and we know it can’t be taken away from us. We know that any of the pain vulnerability sends our way will be used for good. We know that our provision comes not from the responses of the people around us but from our Father, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills + delights in giving good gifts.

This hasn’t spared me from pain. It hasn’t always kept me from hiding or from picking up my old, familiar defenses. It hasn’t cured my selfish heart of its inclination to withhold, self-protect or stiff-arm when things start to feel too vulnerable. But I believe the Gospel transforms every facet of our lives, and that things are shifting here. I’m shaky and scared, and somehow braver than I’ve ever been + I’ll be over here believing that God’s protection is sufficient and His provision is plenty.