Bring a basket and a little piece of bread.
I’m very glad to see you today.
So today I’d like to talk about something you might see me do when I serve communion here at church. I usually stand behind the altar – as tall as I can so people can see me – and I prepare the meal we’re invited to share. There are a lot of different parts of the communion liturgy – the order we follow. So why don’t we go up to the altar itself and look at different parts of it.
Go up to the altar. Have the kids stand behind and around it. Go through the order briefly:
The items up there.
Words of institution.
The distribution – pass out bread/wine or a blessing.
Then before we clean up – the people who help with communion receive communion.
And at the end of that, the people who help served communion – serve communion to me.
Now if you go to churches, you’ll notice that the pastor might give themselves the wine and bread. Others might do what I do. In my opinion, there’s no right-or-wrong way for a pastor to receive communion. Instead, I invite the people who will communion to serve me – because it’s something important for my faith. It helps remind me that even though I’m the pastor, and I wear these robes, and I stand in the pulpit, and I write sermons, and I serve communion – even though everyone spends a lot of time at worship looking at me – I need Jesus just as much as you do. I’m not the most important thing here – Jesus is. And just like I get to serve you all Jesus – I need to be served Jesus as well. Jesus is something that comes to me – and by having other people serve me – I’m reminded that no matter how important I or others might say I am – I still need Jesus. I still need God’s love. And I need others to help me experience God’s love too.
We sometimes need help. And it’s hard to admit when we need help. We usually have no problem wanting to do everything ourselves. We look at the people around us who maybe are older, or taller, or able to do things we think we can do to – and we wonder why we can’t. So we try to pretend that we don’t need help – that we don’t need other people – and that’s how we’re supposed to live. We’re supposed to do things on our own – everything – and if we can’t, then there must be something wrong with us. But Jesus is going to tell us that since we are baptized – since we are part of Jesus himself – and since he is with us, always – we get to take care of each other. We get to see how the people around us are suffering – if they’re sad or hungry or whatever – and we get to help them. We get to love each other because Jesus, no matter what, always loves us – even before we ever heard or understood the name Jesus. But it sometimes hard to take care of each other if people don’t know we need help. We might always want to do everything ourselves – but the strongest, most grown up, most loving, and sometimes most difficult thing we can do is ask each other for help. When we’re sad, when we’re struggling, when we can’t quite figure things out – asking for help is a hard thing to do but it’s an important thing to do. Because none of us can do everything on our own. We all need each other to help us because God gives each of us special talents and abilities to take care of each other. And it’s through other people that we experience Jesus’ love and care for us. We need each other. We will take care of each other. And we can help live the way Jesus wants us to if we learn how to always, no matter what – and no matter how silly it might make us feel – to ask for help.
Thank you for being here! And I hope you have a blessed week.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, 10/21/2018.