Upon entering our apartment for lunch today, Aelah was singing this song over and over.
I belong to somebody.
She was correctly singing that line when I first heard her. As you can tell, it turned into something else. Hearing her sing this got me to thinking that, yes, we do belong to Somebody.
If I were to ask, “To whom do you belong?,” you may be apt to respond with disgust to such a question. “I belong to no one!,” we might want to say. We have been conditioned to esteem our individualistic and independent selves. In our consumeristic culture, we have unfortunately associated belonging with ownership. This is a popular and errant understanding of the word. Belonging is not about possession, but about position.
belong | bi-lôNG | • be rightly placed in a specified position.
We do naturally resonate with this. You’ve likely heard the heart-longing before, “I just want to belong.” With this proper understanding of what it means to belong, we wonderfully happen upon a very different answer to the question of our belonging.
Yesterday, I was given Common Prayer to peruse. As I opened the pages, these are the words that greeted me.
“Re-member-ing” has to do with becoming something new, the body of Christ, in which we lose ourselves in something bigger than ourselves; we are re-membered into a new body.
When we take the wine and bread and eat it, we are digesting Christ – or an even better way of understanding might be that we are made into a new creation as we are digested into the body of Christ. Performing the Eucharist with a community makes us into the body of Christ. As often as Christians take the common elements of bread and wine, they re-member themselves into Jesus. In the Eucharist, we don’t just remember Jesus in general; we remember his suffering. The bread is a broken body, and the wine is poured like shed blood. Both grain and grapes have to be crushed and broken to become something new together. If you are what you eat, the Eucharist is indeed the act of uniting yourself with the one who lovingly suffered at the hands of his enemies.
Maybe this is the greatest sacrament or mystery of our faith – that these broken pieces become one body.
This is where we belong. We belong to Jesus. We belong to His body. As the Church, we belong to one another. Beholden to the wonderful grace and faithfulness of God is our rightful place. Oh, that we might rejoice to sing, “I belong to Somebody!”