I have had two big dreams for ministry. The first is families switching kids during worship — I don’t see that happening anytime soon. The second, however, is about to come to fruition. The second involves everyone: families, individuals, pastors, those who are home bound and Jesus… most of all, Jesus.
From the book of 1 Corinthians:
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ?
The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?
Because there is one bread,
we who are many are one body,
for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Cor 10.16-17)
We are a people who believe that in the breaking of bread and drinking of wine Jesus Christ is fully present. We are a people who believe all are welcome to the table. We are a people who believe the table extends across time, across space, and across the street. We are a people who believe that in the sharing of this ordinary bread and wine, we are changed…changed from disconnected individuals into the living, breathing, united body of Christ. And, because we believe that those who eat the bread and drink the wine are united into one body, we also believe that the bread and wine sent out from Christ’s table into the lives of those not able to be present connects those who knelt at the communion rail with those sitting in their living rooms. We have decided to put into practice what we believe…
Beginning the third Sunday of January (and every third Sunday thereafter) we will send out families and individuals to take the bread and wine from the table to those who are homebound. This is where you come in.
Are you someone who feels Christ’s call to connect with those who cannot be at worship? Are you a family or individual who feel called to be paired with another (you’d visit the same person month after month) and to whom you would take the bread and the wine and words of blessing straight from worship into their home? Are you someone who knows it will take a bit of flexibility and patience, but who knows that when we eat together Christ is fully present and when Christ is fully present the body becomes strengthened and your part in it does, too?
Here is a prayer we might pray to commission those to take communion from the table in the sanctuary to a
table in another’s home:
Gracious God, loving all your family with a mother’s tender care:
As you sent the angel to feed Elijah with heavenly bread,
assist those who set forth to share your word and sacrament with those who are sick or homebound.
In your love and care, nourish and strengthen those who will receive this sacrament, and give us all the
comfort of your abiding presence through the body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
And here are the words you might say once you reach their table:
When our congregation gathered in worship, we heard again of God’s mighty acts and the love shown us in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We shared in the holy meal of the Lord’s supper. Now we bring to you this word of life, and this bread and cup of blessing, so that you may share in these same gifts, be strengthened in communion with all the people of God, and be connected to the body of Christ to which we all belong.
This is indeed a big endeavor to undertake. There will be mistakes made and obstacles confronted and logistics managed. But, the end result? The end result will be a community strengthened through the body and blood of Jesus; the end result will be connections made through the power of the Holy Spirit; the end result will be a table that knows no end, a people united, and a God experienced through prayer, conversation, and the eating and drinking together.
If you’re feeling the call of the Spirit, talk to me. I’ll answer your questions, alleviate any concerns, and if you’re willing, pair you with someone longing to experience greater connection to Bethesda, to you, and to Jesus.