Well it has been a minute since I blogged, huh? I have many, many posts that I will try to catch up with this week, but this one is pretty important, so we'll start with it. :)
Today is World Communion Sunday.
Basically throughout the world churches all celebrated the gift of communion. That is awesome! Even more awesome is that I got to serve today in worship! Now this isn't all that different than any other Sunday, as that's one of my "duties", "assignments", "random thing Chris talked me into doing without actually asking" at CrossTimbers. I LOVE communion, so this is one of my favorite tasks at CT.
We started a new sermon series this morning as well: Never the Same. Through it Chris is going to preach on the history of CT. CrossTimbers has had a HUGE impact on me over the last fourteen months, and even in the nine months before I got the courage to meet up with the women's group that first Saturday. Our "random act of kindness" for the week was to ask someone for their story. You know more than the "hi, how ya doin?" story; the real story of who they are and how they got here. If you go to CT I'm going to share mine, or a piece of mine, for you (I think you should still go out and ask someone else, but here is a "warm up" :))
For most people communion is pretty special, but through my spiritual walk it has always been a BIG deal. There are two main reasons:
The first has to do with watching the body of Christ as everyone walks through the line. (Sidebar, I hate making eye contact and generally speaking I don't do it, except during communion.) Watching everyone go through and accept this amazing gift of new life is just so special to me. For several years I forgot how much this meant to me. During the wedding planning phase I wanted to serve communion at my wedding, I always have, yet during that period in my life I did not feel worthy of it. I hadn't been in church, on a regular basis, in years and I think I wanted it so badly to prove something to God and to myself. I still want communion at my wedding, maybe more now than ever. I want the husband (whoever he may be) and I to serve everyone. I think this is an incredibly powerful way to have contact with every guest (you can bet I will be doing the bread and not the wine/grape juice, you know big white dress...uh no! I serve the bread each week now anyway since no one else seems to want to!) I feel beyond honored to get to server communion each Sunday. I love the feeling of seeing my church family go through the line and really seeing them. It is so incredibly powerful to watch Christ's love in each one of those wonderful people's eyes.
The second reason has to do with a pastor friend of mine making what seemed like a crazy suggestion my sophomore year of college. Brett Thomasson came and lead a class at the Wesley Foundation's leadership group about the sacraments. He told us about how he had a friend who gave up communion for Lent. Being my typical self I couldn't keep my mouth shut and proclaimed how stupid I thought this was. He looked at me point blank and said, each time that you take communion do you REALLY think about what it means? At WF we took communion every Tuesday and I had to admit it had become quite routine. I decided that the next year I would give up communion for Lent and just see what happened. Instead of taking it I sat in my chair and really thought about the meaning and prayed about it. I had NO idea what would happen next. During that Lenten season one of my very favorite people in the world lost his father to a courageous battle with lung cancer. During his battle my friends and I (the prayer card ministry of the WF) prayed and prayed for him and sent card after card. He would write us back and this man's faith was absolutely astounding. The funeral was to take place the first Saturday of Spring Break: smack dab in the middle of Lent. No big deal right? Yeah it was. I had never seen communion served at a funeral until that day. I sat in the pew wondering if it was right to "break" my Lenten promise for this. I don't think I really wrestled with it all that much to be honest; it really was a no brainer. I can still remember everything about taking communion that Saturday. The song that was playing was "I can only imagine" by MercyMe (Imagine happens to be my favorite word in the entire world). It was possibly the most meaningful experience of my life, or at least top ten. :) I am sure that had I not given it up for Lent that year it would have been just as special, but I think it was just enhanced that much more because of that promise I made. I guess sometimes breaking a promise is the best thing that can happen to you.
So happy World Communion Day to you all. If you haven't been to church in a while it might be the right time to try it again. (CrossTimbers worship is at 11:00 am every Sunday at 3004 S. Sunnylane in Moore :))