Thursday, May 04, 2006

Do this in remembrance of Me

Third in a series of Blogs celebrating 5 yrs of ministry at Wadley UMC.

"Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him,
who earnestly repent of their sin
and seek to live in peace with one another."

We had tried Wednesday night prayer meeting, activities for children, bible studies, book studies, with little consistency in attendance and participation. It might start off with good attendance but eventually it would be me showing up, and well I could show up in my home. The best was prayer service after 9/11, but as the war went on, and we were winning, well there went the interest.

"Merciful god,
we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart. .... Forgive us we pray, Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hear the good news;
Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;
that proves God's love toward us.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven."

Then I introduced the Order of St. Luke to a church member who had sought some advise about understanding his gifts. He quickly got involved, got his training, (something I never finished), and certification as a member of the Order of St. Luke. He requested regular communion for himself. I agreed to regular communion, ( John Wesley believed in it and recommended it), I felt though it should be done in community. So we began weekly communion, and have been doing it ever since with good attendance and participation. I, myself am always filled and in awe of the holy mystery that takes place every week. Do I get tired of the liturgy? Yes and No. It seems every week some word, some thought, some action, something I confess; speaks to me of God. The fact that it is a means of grace, God's grace that we all need touches me deep within my soul. Participating in communion with my brothers and sisters is rich.

"Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world the body of Christ,
redeemed by his blood.

By your Spirit make us one with Christ,
one with each other,
and one in ministry to all the world
until Christ comes in final victory,
and we feast at his heavenly .

Through your Son Jesus Christ
with the Holy Spirit in your holy church,
all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,
now and forever. AMEN"

The experts are saying that the Post Moderns are hungry for the Holy, to experience God, authentic community; but I think we moderns are hungry for the same. What better place to experience the Holy, God, and authentic community than at the table of the Lord...Come for the table is ready.

1 comment:

Marty said...

God works His will through His present-day ministers. I marvel at the Pentecostals, while being timid in embracing their public demonstraveness. Towards that end, I recoil at the TBS ministries and the like. Yet, the Holy Spirit moves in all of us willing to give Him a dwelling.

As you said in a sermon....."Become a crazed Christian....lifting your hands up and praising God....if that's what you're led to it" (paraphrased by my take on the message). But I won't be critical of the notion. No, we shouldn't attempt to trap and train the Holy Spirit to our take on it's presence....rather, we should embrace and let flow the work of God through His gifts. ...But I rant.

Holy Communion is so special to me that I am utterly humbled at the presence of Jesus Christ amongst us. In my prayers at the rail I celebrate how Christ comes to be there with me, and in me through The Holy Spirit, to a degree that I honestly believe that anything is possible through Christ. Let someone come in need of healing, at that time, and Christ will heal. Let someone come in need of a relationship with Christ, and it will happen. The marvel and splendor of the Great Banquet is a mystery, and a sacrament, worthy of being called such. Thanks so very much for facilitating this wonderous event.

I commend you on celebrating communion. Regardless of one's personal take of the theology of the event, it is worthwhile in that we are invited to become closer to our savior in the process. Bless those who accept the invitation.