Last night, I spoke in Otter Creek’s Vespers worship gathering on the baptism of Jesus in Matthew’s story. After managing to keep my thoughts to ten minutes (ish)–a real feat for this preacher–I was blessed to serve the bread during communion (your tradition might call it the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist). As each person came to the front of the sanctuary, kneeling before the two presider’s (bread and wine), I spoke these words, ” Josh (insert name of person), with you God is well pleased.”
I realized, in this moment, how long it had been since I’d administered the sacred meal. In Rochester, I served (from at least one table) every single Sunday. We combined prayer, laughter, and hugs (it’s not for everyone) with Jesus’ table because we think Jesus is offering an invitation to a meal not a snack. It is the Lord’s Supper after all, not the Lord’s little snack.
As each person came, I recalled a bit of their story (what I know anyway) . . . how they’d been wrestling with God (Winter Christians and Summer Christians) anticipating God’s voice to bust through the walls of life. Communion, when done in a way that breeds hospitality not individualism, can be a practice of evangelism. That is, it’s a practice (like baptism) that can’t be replicated at a NFL game, Broadway, or the library–though God works there also.
Sara Miles captures the power of the sacred meal: “Faith turned out not to be abstract at all, but material and physical. I’d thought Christianity meant angels and trinities and being good. Instead, I discovered a religion rooted in the most ordinary yet subversive practice: a dinner table where everyone is welcome, where the despised and outcast are honored.”
So, come on to the table. Come get it. Be filled. Never hunger again.