A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Privilege of Being Served

The East Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church began today and meets through Thursday. Conference begins with a service of commemoration and the celebration of Holy Communion. It is quite an operation to administer the Lord's Supper to over a thousand people. Our daughters Alyssa and Courtney were given the honor of being communion stewards serving the bread. I cannot begin to describe the pride and joy I felt today as I watched the two of them doing what has been a high privilege for me over the years.

One of the greatest honors in being a pastor is serving the sacrament of Holy Communion. I have been administering the Lord's Supper for over twenty years and it has yet to become routine for me. Today I had the privilege, not of serving, but of being served by my daughter Courtney. It was a great moment for me personally when she said those ancient words to me that have been repeated for so many centuries, "The Body of Christ, broken for you."

It is a privilege to serve; it is also a privilege to be served. In being served I do not mean the kind of self-centeredness that the Bible rejects; the person who thinks that other people were created to be at his or her own beckoned call. I refer to the privilege of being served those things that cannot be had except as a gift. It is a privilege to be served the bread and the cup; for we cannot receive them unless someone else gives them. It is a privilege to be baptized; for the water can only be given by another. It is a privilege to receive help when we are in need; for to bear one another's burdens means not only that we are to carry the loads of others, but that we are obligated to allow others to carry us. It is a privilege to receive when we are in need; for in so doing we allow others to do what is commanded of us as well. It is a privilege to receive grace; for only in grace can we find life and wholeness.

For so many years I have served the Lord's Supper to my daughter. Today she returned the favor and served me. What a privilege! Thanks be to God!

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