Sunday, July 3, 2011

Helping with Communion

I was the lay reader at church this morning, and I was prepared for that. I got in early, read over the piece, made sure I had the pronunciations correct, and marked the big pulpit bible so that I could find my spot easily. I felt smug that I was all ready for things! I had forgotten it was Communion Sunday, but that wasn't a big deal, per se. I had slept well, I had a good night, I spent a couple of days with the family, and all was going great in my world!

Then, it came time for Communion, and Pastor David motioned for me to come up and help him. Okay, I thought, I've done this many times before. Old hat! I can do this! I got up, helped him move the Communion table into place, and listened quietly as he read the Communion story. All was going great right up until he handed me the plate of bread. He wanted me to say the blessing!

I have served Communion many times before. I have taken Communion many times before. I have never blessed the elements of Communion before, though. As an ordained minister, I have the right to do so now, and I was aware of that right but unprepared for the actuality of having that plate of bread in my hands. Even more so, I was not prepared for what happened next.

As I stood holding the bread itself, ready to break it in half and say the words about "...do this in remembrance of me..." I suddenly was struck with the sense of being on the edge of a whirlwind. A great rush of energy came into me, through me, and to the bread, leaving me quite speechless. It felt like a long time, though I don't think it was (no one was giving me funny looks), that I stood there holding the broken bread and grasping for what it was I was supposed to say. I could not speak. After a few moments, Pastor David took the plate from me and spoke the ritual words, for which I was eternally grateful. Then he blessed the wine and we served the congregation and one another.

I cannot properly explain the feeling I had during that blessing. It was a true blessing, I give you that! I was still buzzing from the rush of it until a few minutes ago. So I suppose I can say with authority now that at least some Communion meals are quite energy-filled and Spirit filled. Wow.

That was not what I was expecting. And yet... it was right.
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