Monday, January 5, 2009

To Be Fed

Sundays can be busy. For a few brief hours, I try to touch base with hundreds of people with countless stories to share. During worship I'm in liturgical conversation with people, passing grace and mercy around the sanctuary like a giant beach ball from pew to pew. I get to tell people the plain truth - that , though our lives can be messy, our sins are forgiven and that this bread and wine is the body and blood of Christ given for you.

After worship I do a quick "costume change" and then bounce from table to table in fellowship hall. One group needs several copies of a list I've made for their informal meeting. Another needs a picture taken for an upcoming event. I hustle upstairs to open Sunday School with a tidbit and prayer. I come back to find my coffee cup and a few minutes to seek out visitors, to thank those who helped with worship and to hug those who need to know they're not alone.

Yesterday I watched the building slow down and gathered my things before heading to the home of a parishioner. It was time for a simple visit, an opportunity to share the love and hope I'd received all morning with a couple unable to come to worship for months. Bringing church to those at home is one of my favorite things about my job.

Their tiny dog hounded me and guarded against me until I took my coat off and sat down. This was the first time I'd dressed in my collar at their home and we laughed that once the little guy saw my "clergy badge", he calmed down and hopped into my lap. A pious pooch.

We talked about anything and everything. I unpacked communion and watched the way it made them both vulnerable and brave. Their faith was palpable and serious while I spoke words of Christ's truth. It had been awhile. And then it was back to the small talk and friendly chatter. Before I left, they gave me a bag filled with coupons to bring to the church and a sack of unwashed potatoes to bring home.

They had been fed by Christ and these dirty spuds were a way to feed and thank me for a mid-winter visit. My pleasure.

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