Having now been a senior pastor for roughly about a month or so I have to say there are a few things that I love about this vocation that weren’t always available to me while serving as a youth pastor. I love the immediate interaction with every age demographic. It doesn’t matter if the layperson is 2 or 102, I am now their pastor (how cool is that?!?). I love being allowed to lead people into worship and prayer while listening for the voice of God in our lives every Sunday morning. And I love the interactions on Sunday morning and throughout the week that have come to characterize my life as a result of this. One particular interaction that I keep coming back to is something that happened this last week as we were serving communion for Family First Sunday. I noticed one of our youngest worshipers, who was roughly around my son’s age come through our Intinction line pretty early on in the procession with his grandmother. And then as we were almost done I noticed this same young man in the back of my line. As he came to the front he looked up at me and whispered under his breath, “I’ve already been up here” and smiled from ear to ear. I simply stooped down, smiled from ear to ear and whispered, “I know”.
Now as anyone who remembers being an 8-yr-old boy or has ever been the parent of an 8-yr-old boy knows, more than likely he wasn’t returning to the front because of his deep theological yearnings to celebrate the Eucharist. In fact, he probably just wanted some more bread and juice. He was hungry. But what a picture! When we celebrate The Lord’s Supper we are participating in something bigger than ourselves. We are proclaiming our alliance and our identity in this ancient feast that our Lord instituted. The apostle Paul put in this way in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” By taking into ourselves the body and blood of Jesus Christ we are in a sense dying to ourselves in order to live for Him.
So now let’s revisit being in line again for Communion. Shouldn’t we also be hungry to remind ourselves of Whose we are? Sometimes we can be overcome by our own appetites and desires so much so that it deplete the image of Christ in us. We find ourselves chasing after things that ultimately lead to us becoming more full of ourselves than of Christ. I find it so important to establish those practices, those reminders, those disciplines that call my hunger back to the true source of Life. If I am ever empty, I know my appetite isn’t in tune with where in needs to be and I find the need to jump back in line. So maybe a few of us could stand to get in line again to be filled with the presence of Christ to align our hunger for Him.