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10 May 2017


Many many years ago my family started the practice of sitting towards the front of the church. Like most weekly church-goers, we have a row of chairs that we naturally gravitate towards, a home base of sorts. But on this Sunday, an unknowing visitor got to those seats ahead of us. We moved up one more row, now only one family in front of us.

For me, the only downside to sitting up front is that you don't see who is sitting behind you. If I don't get to the back quickly enough after the service, I may never even know some folks were worshipping with me. But on this Sunday, we also had that particular blessing of sharing communion. The current practice of our church is that the entire congregation files forward to the front, one by one, one row after another. Our pastors and elders serve each participant a tiny square of flaky flat bread and a tiny cup of wine. We then return down the side aisles to our chairs and wait to eat and drink together.

And so, sitting there and waiting, I saw nearly everyone in the congregation pass by. My youngest buddies waved. A friend I had not seen for several weeks grabbed my hand. My teammate squeezed my shoulder. I watched young moms and dads wrangle kids up the aisle. I saw a lady whisper to a teen and they exchanged grins. I noticed the ladies in Mexican dresses and the guys in boots and jeans and the little girls in swirly skirts and the little boys whose shirts are never ever tucked quite all the way in. Then I watched our elders carefully slip between music stands and guitar necks and bow strokes to serve our musicians, knowing who prefers the wine and who wants the juice without even asking.

The Lord's Supper is that tangible reminder of the grace Jesus purchased for us on the cross, giving his body and his blood for our salvation. But it is also a reminder of the grace we need and the forgiveness we require every day, living out life on this side of heaven. How thankful I am for the work of Chirst, for the body, for the fellowship of believers, for the opportunity to know and remember again how very sweet the gospel of Christ is.

(and of course, the photo has nothing to do with any of that. Later in the afternoon, we gathered together for Bible study and that beautiful bird got a pass out of his cage to visit with us...)

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