Priscilla took communion today. We went to one service for the summer and now everyone over the age of two comes trotting out of the side door and rushes into their parent’s pews sometime between offering and communion. When we pass the peace, the kids come rushing in, ready to tell us what they learned in Sunday school. I’m not sure about peace. They sure do bring enthusiasm.
Priscilla has been thinking about communion all summer. While Juliet inherited my leap before you look mentality for life, Priscilla got the, let’s wait and see temperament from her dad. She just has not been quite sure. We take communion one at a time. We stand in line and wait our turn to take our bread and drink the cup. We receive communion in front of the rest of the congregation. Priscilla isn’t so sure of that part either.
Early this summer, Priscilla told me she didn’t want to do it. She just wasn’t sure. She would wait in the pew for us to return, or get in line with me but then offer a polite no thank you. But yesterday after checking things out for a while, she thought she might be ready to give it a try.
But then she got up to the front and wasn’t quite sure. She decided she didn’t want to accept the body of Christ. As I took my bread and dipped into the cup, she began crying. First because she really did want to take it, but just wasn’t quite ready, and then because she had missed her chance. Finally I think she was crying in church because she was crying.
With my baby on my hip we took a u-turn, got to the end of the line and received the bread that represent our savior. Then, a woman who had just put the cup on the table, went back to get it so that Priscilla could dip her bread in. We messed it up, the rhythm that you are supposed to follow as you participate in the church rituals. We took too long, we were too loud, we didn’t do what we were supposed to do, and we were sort of nuisance to the people who were offering it. We were tired. We haven’t done a great job adjusting to the school year schedule, even at the end of week two.
But all of that was okay, and that is the part I hope Priscilla remembers. I hope she remembers that she was given the body of Christ by name. “Priscilla, this is Christ’s body broken for you.” I hope she remembers that it didn’t put anybody out to go by her own timing and even if it did they wanted to. I hope she remembers the kindness of a woman walking back up the stairs to get the cup so it could be offered to her tiny body. I hope she remembers the way that woman looked her in the eyes and said “this is reminder, of how much Jesus loves you.” I hope she remembers just how very loved she is.
I hope I remember too, that sometimes coming to my faith like a child means coming in my own time. I hope I remember that it is okay to show up sometimes a little late and a little confused. I hope I remember that God wants me to make space for me, even when I am tired and crying and not quite sure about how exactly this whole thing works.
I hope I am always ready to offer a reminder, to anyone wanting to receive it of just how much Jesus loves them. I hope I am willing to ask when I need a reminder too.