Year of Eucharisteo.

“I name years like I’ve named babies because each one births a different life that needs to be raised up and remembered.”
 I’ve recognized this with the passing of each year, how each one presents itself differently woven together with common thread that make a tapestry theme.
I have noticed the last few years have taken on their theme from the “gift” that I’ve decided to give my Savior on Christmas for the coming year.
And this past Christmas I gave Him the gift of “living in Thanksgiving daily.”
Some days life has poured me joy unending.  Other days it has been an upward battle.  But in it all, I have been practicing an attitude of gratitude like President Monson counseled us to cultivate.
Said he, “…to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.
This is, in essence, what “eucharisteo” means.
 From Matthew 15:32-38:

“And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And [the disciples] said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
“And [Jesus] commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”

President Monson says, “Notice that the Savior gave thanks for what they had—and a miracle followed: “And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.”

“In the original language, ‘gave thanks’ is written eucharisteo. He gave thanks. He broke apart. He gave. The bread. Himself. Eucharisteo.
“The root word of eucharisteo in the Greek is charis meaning gift or grace. He took the bread and saw it as a gift…Do we see the common like bread and drink as pure grace, unmerited gifts from He who can do nothing but give? Do we take up each moment of life in this way, both the mundane and the trials of life?
“Charis also forms the root of the Greek word chara, meaning joy. Those three words…grace, thanksgiving, joy…come together. In all circumstances, even in our greatest trial, we can receive from Him this sustenance. Now served to us with nail-scarred hands, first we taste of grace—that He delights in us in His generous benevolence. Then we savor it with thanksgiving that both springs up from our spirit and nourishes us right down to our souls. And our dessert? Joy! Joy…from thanksgiving…from grace, freely bestowed on us, His beloved.
“With the taking, with the thanking, comes the breaking. As we feast upon His eucharisteo, so we then take our lives…our time, our talents, our treasure…and in the power of grace and in the spirit of thanksgiving, ‘break’ them to share them with a hungry world around us—our spouse, our children, our extended family, our community, our world. It is our gift…because freely we have received; therefore, freely we give.”
And so this year, this beautiful year of eucharisteo, I will gather the daily manna sent so lovingly from my Father.  I have lingered long in the attitude of the Israelites when they saw the manna from heaven and “wist not what it was.”  But now the Spirit whispers as perfectly clear as Moses spoke in response:  “This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:15)
The bread He gives me is the only Begotten Son and all of the miracles and beauty which, because of Him, are showered down upon me as abundantly as the manna from heaven.  I need only to gather, to notice, to relish each sweet morsel.  And then I will break my own bread of service for all around me, especially my dear family loved ones.  I will give myself as an offering, just as He did, but in a much smaller and more finite way.
How can I say it better than Ann?
This work—the thousand endless jobs—they each give the opportunity for one to become the gift, a thousand times over!
“Because with every one of the thousand, endless jobs, I become the gift to God and to others, because this work is the public God serving, the daily liturgy of thanks, the completing of the Communion service with my service.”
“…our happiness comes, too, not in the having but in the handing over.
“Give your life away in exchange for many lives, give away your blessings to multiply blessings, give away so that many might increase, and do it all for the love of God.
“I can bless, pour out, be broken and given in our home and the larger world and never fear that there won’t be enough to give. because eucharisteo has taught me to trust that there is always enough God. He has no end. And it is God Himself who serves me as I serve.
“Here you can enact eucharisteo; here you can become a current in a river of grace that redeems the world!
“God can be in me, even me, and use these hands, these feet, to be His love, a love that goes on and on and on forever, endless cycle of grace.
 
“I am blessed.
“I can bless.
“So this is happiness.”

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