A New Beginning.
Reflection of the past. What did I do well? What did I do poorly? Of what am I proud? Of what am I ashamed? What would I have done differently?
What can I do this year to make it better? What can I do to help others make their New Year better? How can I reflect the Love of God rather than give Him yet another black eye?
How can I love more? How can I love better?
How can I love?
It had been months since I had partaken of Holy Communion. I remain a Church Gypsy, still struggling to cast off the past and commit to plant new stakes at a new Tabernacle. This morning, at my potential "Church-To-Be", I sat next to a lady who belonged to my former church. I also spied another couple attending who interestingly belonged to my former church. A sign, I wondered?
The lady I sat with had also suffered grievous loss in her life, and had been disappointed by her home church ... like me. Coincidence? Providence?
The other couple I spied: How curious to consider that I had sung at their wedding (my first singing gig! ... a story in itself) and that he had been president of the church council at one time.
But, it was the Communion that really centered me. It had been several months since I had taken Communion. As the congregation recited The Lord's Prayer, a corporate recitation I had not done in ages, I choked up a bit upon hearing all those saintly voices in unison praising and praying to God. The Communion of the Saints. It felt so good. So familiar. So needed. So nourishing. So blessed.
As the Pastor spoke the Words of Institution, a wave of light grape aroma drifted across the rows, the scent of God permeating my senses and soul.
"Breathe deep, my child! I am here! Welcome to my table! I am so glad to have here to sup with Me!"
The Bread and the Wine. The Body and the Blood. Christ present with us in and through Communion.
I recall sitting at my mother's table some years back. I had had a pretty rough surgery requiring me to stay at my mom's home for some ten days. I was pretty weak and nauseous when I got to her house. My mom had prepared what she has always called her "Garbage Soup", although that is the absolute last thing I would think to call it! She had purposefully and lovingly made it with good ol' red meat -- beef -- and allowed it to steep extra long to assemble the most nutrients possible.
Up until this point, I had been unable to keep food down. I was still seven pounds underweight after five nights in the hospital. When I sipped the first spoonful of soup, it brought all of my cells to life! They all slurped and sucked in every bit of nutrition my mom's soup had to offer. She apologized for such a simple meal, but I told her: "Mom, it is the most exquisite thing in the whole universe. Nothing could possibly taste better." It was so comforting and healing.
Today's Communion felt that way, too -- comforting and healing. My soul devoured the Goodness of the Bread and Wine, every element of my being feasting upon "the Goodness of the Lord."
Psalm 34:8 -- "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him"