This pandemic has diminished opportunities to safely gather, making the times we can do so need few words to speak how life giving it is to be in communion with one another. One of my joys, helping to lead worship at the Village at Penn State, was one of the many things suspended since March. Then I received an email asking if I might come and offer a “safe” worship service with communion.
As I began to imagine being there again, my heart soared in the small tasks that took on new holiness - preparing communion wafers and running a copier for the worship sheets. The feeling grew as Laurel provided virtual choir videos I could share from a thumb drive and I envisioned people’s joy at being reunited with familiar faces, and hearing music that could sing even when they could not. When Koya offered to play a piano prelude, it felt like an abundance of grace.
And there we were - not as many and not as close as in days past, only seeing a few inches between hairlines and the start of masks. But the eyes told the story, a window into our souls. Eyes filled with tears of joy washing away the pain of six months of separation. Eyes smiling to see and hear words and music that transported us into being a people restored, and remembered, and renewed. Eyes closed in grateful prayer that reached down into the depths of our souls to draw us together. Eyes opening with the satisfaction of being fed in a way so hungered for, now filled. We knew we could not linger, that connecting was fleeting, yet if ever one wanted to feel the fullness of all that the words “holy communion” mean, it was there in that room for 22 minutes. The glow of it lingered in the eyes of those who now left to journey on, but that glow lit the way as we remembered how precious being in communion really is. It embodies my favorite Scripture passage, words that in this pandemic ring truer than ever –
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.