Setting the Table of Love
By Kathy Jones of Kendrick, ID, USA
O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! —Psalm 95:6 NRSV
One Communion Sunday the minister asked us to kneel, if comfortable. I noticed the gentleman behind me moving awkwardly. A severe car accident disabled him several years ago, and he now uses a cane to walk. Trying to kneel was difficult and painful. I turned in my pew and whispered, “You don’t have to kneel. It will be okay.” He looked up and, with all sincerity, told me he wanted to kneel before God. His humbleness inspired me to take a look at myself. Do I kneel out of habit or with purpose and reverence?
In this same service, I noticed the little children in our congregation as they anticipated communion. Their excitement at taking the bread and wine symbolized their love for Jesus. They felt a sense of belonging. Does my face light up when the bread and wine are placed before me? Do I realize how blessed I am to belong to a loving church community?
As a minister often planning Communion services, I prepare the sermon and arrange the bread and wine table. I make sure the bulletins are correct and set up technology. I then take a deep breath when all is in order. When did I begin to concentrate on the physical nature of the service more than the meaning of sharing Communion?
Tomorrow, on Communion Sunday, I will kneel with purpose and meaning, lifting my face in joy!
Hymn suggestion: “Let Us Break Bread Together” Community of Christ Sings 521
Prayer for Peace
Creator God, we know you are with us always. When we come to meet you in worship, may we bring hearts prepared to accept Christ and recommit to his mission. May we intentionally pursue the peace of Christ.
Spiritual Practice: Congregational Learning
Imagine what it would be like to gather with members of your congregation under a tree and to learn from Jesus. What would the tree look like? What would you most like to learn? What changes would happen in your congregation, as it became a community of disciples? Write or speak a prayer, asking God to bless you and your congregation in learning to become disciples of Christ.
Today, God, I will begin preparing myself to receive Communion tomorrow.