Communion and Community, 08JUN – #180



So much blessing to talk about from a Sunday from 8am to 8pm… spent in and with church – absorbing much from being afforded the time to watch how others were moving Jesus out into the community… I won’t and can’t write it all – and luckily I was able to process so much (blessings and heartaches) in taking in community with others – that I don’t feel obligated to process it all by writing – but I want to touch on two aspects of the day – especially since a 4:30 am wake up call is affording me this occasion to sit and reflect:

Communion and Community, 08JUN
Breaking Bread – not just about the bread – but who you break it with… the aspect of community with communion is of paramount importance… I went to a nursing home for monthly communion and scripture service – I come in late (of course) and attach myself to a lovely woman in a lovely flower capped hat. Her smile and beautiful red lipstick and sunglasses made her smile bounce – she said she had no idea what the gathering was and I said – “oh, it’s for communion” – she was pleased to be in communion and community…. she was next to a woman with a permanent smile affixed to her face – yes, permanently smiling – a nice state to be in…

I didn’t have to do anything for the service so I was allowed to float (as a child I visited my Grandma in the nursing home every other day for ten years – I know the situation – I know the pain and hardships- even if the surroundings are nicer – the situation is the same – and as a child you are there to bring life backing into the often grim existence) – so next I moved back to a couple of others who were just happy to see us – and I especially kept pointing out my cute but shy kids up front who were responsible for helping their Dad and counting and setting up the communion elements… and then I settled down next to a woman with the prettiest blue eyes and smile… she grabbed my hand and shook it in love and excitement – her dementia was bad but she kept calling out to her husband “Tony, Tony” – across the table – she shook my arm in excitement every few minutes – told him I was doing a good job – and although I was a bit sore staying on my knees, I didn’t leave – this was communion and community – I helped her with the elements – pleased to be placed in this moment of time to be the helper – to me these folks were the good elderly Italian fellow parishioners at my parochial school as a child – this woman was like one of those hard working ladies at the school carnival calling you to get “Pizza Fritta – get ’em while their hot!”… a touch of the best memories of growing up in my blend of Irish/Polish/Italian community. “Tony, Tony” was very pleased at our attendance and told me about his Italian mother,m named Isabelle, same as his niece – they used to call his mom “sa belle” – for beautiful – yup – beautiful girl – beautiful communion – beautiful community…

This monthly communion service pulled from devotional scriptures – spoke of hymns that speak to us and are we really singing them truthfully? – believing in the words – or are we just running thru the words?… well, yeah – lyrics are my muse for writing often – and now for listening to God, always…to listen to how the words touch your heart – the tunes you carry with you – the words you live…. Although not all could read all the devotions in the bulletin, the whole room reverberated with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. See, that prayer seemed to be not JUST rote running thru the words for these people – that is etched on their hearts – it may become rote in some peoples lives – even taking of communion may be rote to some – but in that place and time, with those people, it was in community and that’s what mattered – that’s what amplified the walk with Jesus – to be sitting at His feet whether words were exchanged or just smiles… To be in communion with God is to be in community – to kneel at the feet of the weak and soak up and amplify their joys – it was real in that time and place. It takes such little effort to just “be there” – it takes time, yes – especially when your heart tugs at you for wanting to spend more time with them – when you are supposed to be in ten other places – but it gives back ten-fold of blessings to them from a slice of your time… you may just get to blow in out of your whirlwind life for a short time – and certainly it is VERY difficult for many to visit nursing homes – but to sit and absorb and smile and be in community for the briefest time – well, the smiles that come back to you are ten-fold…. community with communion – “sa – belle” – so beautiful….

Later I sat in community at a pool party with beautiful young vibrant Christians – being in community – and breaking not the actual communion elements – but a whole host of common party foods…. the community was there – the breaking bread was there – the relaxing and processing of life’s twists and turns was there – Jesus was there for sure – appreciating, sitting and relaxing – absorbing the Spirit – reflecting on a good day – community with common purpose – communion – “sa belle” – so beautiful…


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