Sunday, January 2, 2011

More why I do what I do

Yesterday's post got me thinking...and here's a little more of why I do what I do.
Because the last time we had communion in church, I stood there and watched a little child take communion for the first time with delight and a little trepidation. I believe that my exact words were, "Now you eat it!". While I know he didn't understand fully what he was doing--we don't, so why would he--I felt like he still had some kind of connection to this God-thing we were all doing together.
My second-favorite communion moment came in the same service, when I offered the cup to a woman in her late 70s. I love her, and have since I first met her. She has a delightful sense of humor, is willing to still feel wonder, and unfortunately, is having some significant memory issues. I watched her approach the cup with joy and reverence combined, cupping her hands under the morsel of bread after she'd dipped it in the juice as if it were a treasure, and ate it up quickly. She grinned at me, and then licked a few drops of juice from her fingers. I'm running out of words here, but it will have to suffice to say delight, joy, and wonder again.
I am a pastor in part because I get to participate in these moments with people, to see the ones who tear up, the ones who lose themselves for a moment in solemnity and reverence, the ones who lick juice from their fingers or get excited at a particularly large piece of bread. Something greater than we are is happening, and it is so much greater than we that we can't even get in the way too much. Which is good, because I spend part of that time trying not to think about how much my back hurt while I smiled, and welcomed people to the table, and offered them grace in a cup of grape juice and a small bit of bread. I am a pastor because it's really not about me, but I get to be a part of it, and to invite others into all the stories of faith that we tell. This last communion service just happened to give me more of my favorite little stories.

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