Mandy and I attend a congregation that is diverse. It is an older predominantly white congregation now located in a racially diverse neighborhood. The congregation has made great strides in accepting its neighborhood in many ways. Last Sunday we "overheard" the conversation of two neighborhood boys in worship. The boys are about eight or nine years old. As communion begins, the conversation begins...
"Are you going to get some bread?"
"The lady said that ALL are invited to get the bread?"
"She has some juice too!"
"She did say that everyone could come get some!"
"I am going to get some!"
The first little boy does not wait for his row to go. He finds his way in line. The second little boy follows as well. He can't wait to be served!
They return to their seat and the conversation continues...
"How big a piece of bread did you get?"
"I got a big piece. Man it was good bread. I got a piece with only bread."
"My piece had some crust on it. It was good!"
Although we laughed at the conversation, it was so heartwarming. Obviously there was great curiosity about this strange invitation. And then it was followed by a continuing conversation about the elements of communion. I must admit that as a pastor I noticed more people smiled when we used Hawaiian bread!
We can learn alot from this conversation. I hope I get to "overhear" more of them. What joy there can be in communion with such innocence. I felt as though the Spirit of God was truly present in a way that I do not have to fully understand.
Pray for me as I pray for you.
In the Master's Name,
Dr. M. Jack O'Dell