Monday, October 04, 2004
The music was beautiful. There was one really neat number that had the room rocking as the women sang one part and the men sang another part and the counterpoint was lovely. I was running pretty far behind on things so it all merged into graceful sound.
Then the pastor got up and started talking. My slow thoughts came instantly awake when he said the word "communion." Does he mean what I think he means?
Mosaic has a monthly Lord's Supper service. It's in a special place and scheduled in advance. This gives me time to get myself together. I still sometimes find it hard to believe that God wants me around, and the Lord's Supper is a very sharp reminder of what He had to do in order to bring me to himself. And here I was in a strange church, strange people, and they're doing communion! Yeow. What do I do now? Run?
Hah. Run? A turtle could catch me, assuming I could get out of the chair. I stayed put. Unlike one church I attended years ago that said only members of that church could partake, this one was open to any follower of Jesus. Between that person and the Lord. I closed my eyes and remembered.
When Debbie tapped me on the shoulder I came up with a start. I'd been concentrating pretty hard. There was the tray of cracker pieces in front of me. I took one and passed it on.
It was gracefully done, and beautiful. What Jesus had to do so that we could live is so different from anything we experience in daily life that thinking about it just stops me in my tracks. We ate and drank together. This is the core of the Christian experience: Jesus making us right with God.
The preacher's message was related. He talked about commandments, and integrity, and the law. Beyond that is the law of love: love God with all your heart, love your neighbor, and only God enables us to live that way. We can't earn any of God's grace, but after we've been given grace, He gives us the Holy Spirit to teach us how to live.
And the Holy Spirit seems to care about sand sculptors. I was reading the Gospel of Luke Saturday night after the sculpture, and read the passage about the man who gives money to his servants and expects them to invest it. One doesn't, and the money is taken away and given to the others. The implication is clear: use your talents, or they will be taken away. This idea has always frightened me because I know I have talents. Most of the time they're under a bushel basket. God probably wants to take the basket away.
He has not taken the talents away. The implication of this idea were strong, although I don't know if my interpretation is correct. If God takes away talents from those who don't use them and gives them to those who will, then the reciprocal idea seems valid: I still have my troubleshooting skills, so God must be reasonably pleased with how I use them. I haven't devolved into a TV-watching robot.
And I do build lanterns of sand out on a public beach. There are depths to living with Jesus that I don't understand at all.