Have you noticed that as well as bringing up the financial collection during the ‘Offertory hymn’ after the intercessions on Sunday, the bread and wine are also brought forward. Why do that? Why not simply have them on a table near the altar for convenience sake?
- The bread and wine are brought from the back of the church through the congregation as a sign that they are gifts from the congregation offered to the Lord.
- They remind us that we are invited to be co workers with God who provides the raw ingredients which we then ‘work on’ to make the bread and make the wine. Consider how many people have participated in making it possible for those two simple products that come up our aisle Sunday by Sunday….farmers, bakers, delivery men and women, the vintners whose feet trod the grapes (well in the old days) and so forth…
- Called ‘The Presentation of the Gifts’, we bring them forward so that an exchange can take place. They are offered to God who transforms them with the presence of Christ and then they are given back to us to feed on.
- As the bread and wine are brought forward and offered, we are a reminded that just as we offer them, we too are invited to offer ourselves and the week ahead for the Lord’s purposes. When we do, like the bread and wine we are gently changed by the presence of Christ in us and become more than we could be without him.
- Financial offerings are also brought forward and blessed.
- In the ‘old’ days a prayer was sometimes said as the offering was brought forward….”All things come of thee O Lord, and of thine own do we give thee….”