This past Sunday Husband and I were the “Meet-ers and Greeters” at church. It was also a time of communion – the bread that was broken… the blood that was shed for the forgiveness…
Our Pastor has asked us in the past to help serve the elements, but most generally I respectfully decline. The melody that plays around and around in my mind in a very minor chord is, “I’m not worthy… I’m not worthy…” and in all honestly, I am not. However, something began to change in my heart during Holy Week.
Palm Sunday with the shouts of “Hosanna” and lying down of the palm fronds and coats to honor a king fades into a black, heavy silence and the week progresses. Then comes Thursday, Maundy Thursday and the feast of the Passover and the institution of Communion.
We celebrated the Passover feast in our Fellowship Hall followed by a foot washing. It was moving, so moving I wept. To understand the Passover and the symbolism that leads us to the cross is amazing… is humbling… To wash another’s feet is humbling too.
Then Thursday gives way to Friday, Good Friday. Our Good Friday service was a Tenebrae service. The name Tenebrae is the Latin word for “darkness” or “shadows.” The lights were dimmed and the only light was provided by 16 candles with scripture versed from John 18:1 – John 19:42 broken into to 16 segments. At the end of each scripture reading, a candle was extinguished until we were left in darkness… and silence. It was moving and I wept even more as I reflected upon the sacrifice, and the darkness, and the shadows, and the sin…
But then comes Sunday and the empty tomb! Alleluia!
A week later we are asked to participate in offering the communion elements and we agree. As the congregation approaches, one by one – I break off the bread and say, “the body of Christ, broken for you” and Husband holds the chalice of “wine” into which the bread will be dipped saying, “the blood of Christ, shed for your forgiveness.”
My dear sister in Christ, Sherry, is the pianist and she is playing “Sing Alleluia” softly in the background. When I recognize it, my eyes moisten yet again. It is the song what was sung in candlelight to the pilgrims during the Emmaus weekend.
Some churches have closed communion. Others have open communion. I am not here to debate this issue. I am only here to share with you how the Lord has used this Holy Week to pierce my heart. How I became a willing servant to share the elements with my spiritual family. Even so, Amen!
John 13:12 - 17
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.