The story of the Woman at the Well is a familiar story to us. In it, Jesus tells the woman that He can give her living water and if she drinks it she will never thirst again. Did that mean she never got thirsty for water again? No, what Jesus was talking about was a thirst for truth, not actual water. Jesus is the end of all looking for answers because He is the ultimate Truth. In our hymn “O Bread of Life From Heaven,” we sing of a similar situation. When we take part in the Eucharist, what do you think is happening? Are you tasting bread and wine and remembering Jesus or is there something more?
Jesus is compared to “Bread from Heaven” and “Manna from Above.” This reminds us that Jesus told His disciples that unless they ate His body they wouldn’t have a part in Him. And we sing, “The souls that hunger feed thou,” asking Jesus to feed us. But it is not just actual food, it is a nourishment that our souls need, it is faith, hope, and love–the life of the Spirit.
In the last verse we sing “We here proclaim thee hidden by forms of bread and wine.” We go on to ask that one day we may actually see Jesus in person when we are with Him. But for now we see Him in part through the bread and wine in Communion. He is with us spiritually when we break bread together and drink wine, feeding and watering our souls.
So when we take Communion, we are tasting bread and wine; we are remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection. But there is more. We are being fed real food for our bodies, but we are also being fed spiritual food because of Christ’s presence with us while we eat.