We had a big crowd at church today, which was nice. I think the cold and nasty weather has kept some folks away for a few weeks – and others have been in Florida. While it’s cold out today it’s beautiful and so it was refreshing to have a fuller house again.
As I sat watching communion be distributed at our second service though, I realized that we were going to cut it close on bread. I could tell that our layperson who was serving was sensing it too. I watched him keep a close eye on the people in line and the people still sitting in the pews. I watched him shift to distributing smaller and smaller pieces of bread. I saw a real sense of relief on his face when he realized that he was going to have enough.
Watching him serve communion was a powerful illustration of the responsibility that we have as we take care of one another in community. As he gave of God’s love he was generous, but necessarily cautious. He was attentive to the situation and responded as he needed to to ensure that all would be fed. I will probably never look at communion the same way again, it really was beautiful.
This morning I was reminded also of a trip I made to a Sikh Gurdwara in Toronto during the winter of 2003. When entering the Gurdwara all persons acknowledge the presence of the divine and are then offered Prashad (a mixture of equal parts butter, sugar, and flour) to take and eat. It is symbolic of 1) the Sikh belief that no one should come into the presence of the divine and leave hungry and 2) the idea that encountering the divine is sweet, rich, and filling. What powerful imagery!
I’m home now and have just enjoyed some tasty leftover vegan chili that we made for dinner with friends last night. I am full, I am satisfied, I am thankful for what has already been a great day.