Monday, June 27, 2011

pondering communion

another post about the Wild Goose Festival...

While listening to Phyllis Tickle speak, I looked over my shoulder and saw The Sarcastic Lutheran standing nearby. I introduced myself and we talked a bit, then she asked, "Would you like to serve communion at the bluegrass liturgy this evening?"

I started to hesitate, wondering "Am I even allowed to do that?"... but when Nadia Bolz-Weber asks you to do something, you say yes.

Bluegrass Liturgy, Wild Goose Festival 2011, Shakori Hills 
The service was unlike anything I'd experienced in my lifetime of church attendance: bluegrass hymns combined with a traditional liturgy and a brilliant, concise, "wait-can-I-hear-that-again?" sermon.

Then came time for communion. I was assigned to a station along with Stuart, a member of Nadia's church.  I must have looked as lost as I felt, because in the shuffle 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 the wine. Each time someone walked up, I watched him look deep into their eyes and say, "The body of Christ, broken for you". Then I looked deep into their eyes and said, "The blood of Christ, shed for you."

As this process repeated over and over again, I became acutely aware that I was participating with the Spirit in something uniquely beautiful and unmistakably True. Everything I'd been wrestling with melted into the Truth of this experience.

"God bless us, EVERY one".

When our line reach its end and the crowd passed, Stuart laid a wafer on my tongue, looked deep into my eyes, and said, "The body of Christ, broken for you." I was weeping as I handed him the cup and said, "The blood of Christ, shed for you." And we hugged.

I knew then, that something had changed within me.  That I'd never be able to go back to the way I was before. And that I didn't want to.

 Thank you, Wild Goose Festival
Thank you, Stuart.


christina britt lewis said...

frederick buechner wrote...whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. they are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next.

your words almost always bring tears to my eyes. so i pay the closest attention.

Unknown said...

Absolutely beautiful!