Tuesday, September 05, 2006

sacraments

The holiest place I've been lately would have to be the west end of the dining hall at Camp Cedar Glen.

The mountains usually feel holy to me, but offering communion on the last day of a retreat for adults with HIV/AIDS took holy to a new place.

I'm not entirely comfortable with thinking that I have a firm grasp of what happens at the communion table. Or how Jesus' blood becomes life for us all. But, somehow, offering that cup of salvation to a room full of people living with a disease carried in their blood felt more life-giving than most of what I do. Somehow, it met the hunger of my heart, and seemed to meet the hunger of others who gathered.

There was the man who'd told me he didn't believe he could have a relationship with God anymore. But who found God at the retreat, in the community that gathered.

There was the man who'd given up singing when he was diagnosed with HIV as his career was taking off, who gave voice to the most glorious music setting of St. Francis's prayer.

There was the woman whose search for a community where she can worship the God she's known at the retreat, whose love and authority isn't limited to heterosexual men, and whose sacraments are open to all, has led her to leave the church where she'd first known God.

There were so many.

And we shared in a holy meal, under the same roof where we'd shared other meals all week. (And, I saw then, every one of them had been holy.)

In this moment, for me, it was so good to name the sacramental meal--and to know that we were not alone on that mountain. Our sacrament was the same that has been shared for millenia (making space for the millenias' worth of ways we've fallen short of the glory of the feast...).

What a funny bunch of people we are--the church. Not at all the people who have it figure out. Unless, I suppose, figuring "it" out is just realizing that we're loved by a God who calls us to try to love each other.

8 comments:

karen said...

It was a joy for me to get to be part of that communion. Thank you.

Now, if only we had a way to convene all the other folks who feel disenfranchised by the Church and let them experience the same loving.

How to we invite them to the table?

the reverend mommy said...

Welcome to the RevGalBlogPals!

Cathy said...

A beautiful post - I could almost feel like I was there.
Obviously many people were touched at the retreat - reading about it touched me also.

Welcome to RGBP!

see-through faith said...

I'm glad - in a way -that we can't figure out the Eucharist - the love of God is so much more than we even dare to imagine or hope or expect.

I just wrote my thesis on the Eucharist by the way ... and am deeperin love than before.

welcome to rev gals.

Sally said...

This is a beautiful post, it speaks of the raw intimacy yet mystery we find in God when we dare come close thank you- welcome to revgals

net said...

As a fellow UMCer - welcome to RGBP! Looking forward to the journey together!

Melissa said...

Welcome aboard the RevGal ring!

see-through faith said...

Great to read this :)