another post about the Wild Goose Festival...
While listening to Phyllis Tickle speak, I looked over my shoulder and saw The Sarcastic Lutheran standing right near me. I knew it was her even though I had no idea what her real name was (it's Nadia). I introduced myself, and we talked a bit when she suddenly asked, "Would you like to serve communion at the bluegrass liturgy this evening?" Now, ponder that with me: The Sarcastic Lutheran is asking the Waffling Presbyterian to serve communion at the Bluegrass Liturgy. WILD goose indeed!
Of course I agreed. Thankfully, just before time for the liturgy service, my friend Meredith Lloyd introduced me to Doxasoma. An hour of prayerful exercise prepared my soul for worship like nothing else I can imagine.
The service was beautiful. The music was familiar (bluegrass hymns!), the liturgy beautiful, and the sermon brilliant. Then it came time for communion. I was assigned to a station along with Stuart, a member of Nadia's church. Someone quickly threw out, "You know Stuart, right? The tall, handsome gay guy with the mohawk!" I wondered how I'd find him in the sea of people. Turns out it wasn't hard. :)
Stuart and I took our places - he served the bread, I served the wine. Each time someone walked up I watched him look deep into their eyes and say, "The body of Jesus, broken for you". Then I looked deep into their eyes and said, "The blood of Jesus, shed for you." Something washed over me as this process repeated over and over, over and over. I knew that I believed it, whole-heartedly. That whoever stood in front of me, no matter who they were or what they were or where they came from or where they were going, these words I spoke were true: "The blood of Jesus, SHED FOR YOU." I'm not getting into eucharist arguments here, that's not my point. My point is that I participated with the Spirit in an unmistakeable way as I communicated that Truth to every person who stood before me, inviting them to participate in it. Every person. Every one. "God bless us, every one".
Then, when our line had ended, Stuart laid a gluten free wafer on my tongue, looked deep into my eyes, and said, "The body of Christ, broken for you." I was weeping by this point, but I handed him the cup and said, "The blood of Christ, shed for you." And we hugged. I knew then, that I'd never be able to go back. And that I didn't want to.
Thank you, Sarcastic Lutheran. Thank you House For All Sinners and Saints. Thank you Stuart.