All distance falls away

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All distance falls away at the Lord’s table.

Today, with the First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, I will celebrate and participate in virtual communion. We will spiritually connect as we physically distance.

To prepare, I offered the invitation to explore the meaning of communion by reflecting on past experiences of the sacrament. What did they have to teach us? What might we learn for today’s service?

Listening to myself for once, I did that. While I was washing the dishes, I recalled a communion service ten years ago.

During Holy Week of 2010, I took part in a meeting related to the Accompaniment Program of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Leaders in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia are taking great risks in their human rights work and their support of the communities of Colombians who have been displaced by the over forty years of violence in their country. They have asked Presbyterians from the United States to act as international accompaniers in order to provide a measure of safety—international eyes—for their work. The program started in 2004 and continues today. Over 100 accompaniers have served to date. Learn more about the program here:.

Since it was Holy Week, I had the privilege to worship with the Communidad del Camino in Barranquilla. The community honored me by inviting me to preach. Germán Zárate translated my words.

With the Rev. Adriano Portillo and the Rev. Dayro Aranzalez, I helped celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

The precious memory flooded over me as the water flowed over the dishes in my sink.

And I knew that whenever and wherever bread is broken and the cup is shared (in whatever form they take), the people of the Communidad del Camino, the people of the church in Colombia, the people of the church around the world, the people whose names I know, whose names I have forgotten, whose names I never knew, they all meet at the table. Miles apart, in Christ we are together.

Tonight, we gather at separate tables, scattered around Queens and Manhattan in my case. But in Christ, those tables become one—Christ’s table. Though physically distant, we gather in spiritual solidarity. And we gather with the church in all places and all times. One body. As we share in the meal Christ has prepared for us this night, I will remember that and smile.

All distance falls away at the Lord’s table.

 

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Filed under Current Events, First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Worship

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