The sermon yesterday was on letting things slow us down to lead us to the table; a table that holds bread and wine, also promise, tradition and hope. An altar of forgiveness and remembrance — of radical hospitality.
It is an embodying act, this eating. Sure it can be rote, but the meaning comes sometimes subtly and other times overcome with tears or joy.
It’s the love of what this act means that drives my words and deeds (albeit imperfectly at times).
My dear friend Megan embodies communal living better than just about anyone I know. Her vocational calling as a therapist helps guide her gentle, intentional nature. She has been there for me at two in the morning when my husband was on a business trip, and I had a panic attack. She slept in the guest room – just the act of bringing her soul in the room helped me.
The two of us have had some of the most embodied conversations as we’ve wrestled with our anxieties. In a way, she brings the bread and wine with her.
This is my hope for the church I attend and the Church universal — that we will take the bread and wine and remember its nourishment every day. It’s not just an act of Sunday, but way of living.
Megan also sings the Doxology on her way to work.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise God all creatures here below. Praise God above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost… Amen.
It focuses, calms, and reminds her about her sacramental life with sacramental words after she has taken the sacraments.
I remembered her tradition as I watered the garden this morning. It seemed natural to find myself singing as I held the hose with my hand.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
I followed the water’s trail to where it met the beet greens. Their green and magenta arms waving up at me letting me know their blessing of growing right here. An abundance which has fed us for months now.
Praise God all creatures here below.
I turned to see our chickens – our “ladies,” – who give of themselves every day. I looked at Nugget who has been sick and recently came back to life as she had just grabbed a strawberry out of my hand - a special treat for a special creation.
Praise God above ye heavenly hosts.
My eyes squinted at the Sun, the force of life, the thing my garden worships and my vitamin D level appreciates. Without this giant orb, this world would literally shrivel and die. I found myself indebted and in awe.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
I took in the whole yard, my eyes focusing on the large supply of mint, onions, fennel, and cilantro about to burst out of their raised beds — the miracle of God working all around me. If I would’ve rushed through watering I wouldn’t have truly taken it in.
I also would have missed the three kinds of butterflies flitting from plant to plant, the bees which had temporarily taken over the thyme bush, taking life and giving it in the same moment. I wouldn’t have seen the ladybugs, or the lizard, or the two magnificent metallic green humming birds foraging the nectar from the garden in the front yard — for the yards of grass on our block are lots to pass on route to the homestead for these creatures.
The bread and wine remind me of this abundance. They gently push me into this sanctuary every day. Other sanctuaries look different for other people, but they are no less spiritual – God works in every space. Sometimes we just need traditions and not words to remind us of that.
That is why we are nourished. I needed to remember this morning — to feel it in my bones – that spirituality isn’t just words and memorization or even rhetoric – it is incarnate in everything. Thanks be to God.