Saturday, 11 June 2011

Communion: Ouch!

Before communion we are supposed to sort out our differences with one another.

We share the Lord's Supper in unity, so we need to keep close "account"

I have known this to be a remarkably effective way of causing people to be restored relationally: because if we drink from one cup and eat from one loaf then we do need to be one.


I remember the first time I ever led a Sunday meeting in the Church. I must have been about 23 and so was a tad nervous. We get to communion and I am sat at the front and a guy in the Church came and sat next to me.

"Dave, before I can share communion I just want to say that I am really sorry for the way I have held all these negative thoughts about you for the last 3 years. I just want you to know that I am through it all now and have forgiven you."

I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.

And I still don't!

1 comment:

Pauline said...

Yes- that rings a bell, Dave!He was out of order- but Churches are not always completely full of fuzzy love and warmth, are they?!!! I've had 2 experiences, not the same- but in a similar spirit of misunderstanding.
When I was due to lead intercessions, a fearsome "worthy parishoner" -even older than me;-) collared me and warned,in a stern old scholmistressy voice, "I HOPE you're not going to read a POEM!!!" (Which I WASN'T- also I wouldn't have minded but for the fact that an another equally worthy parish lady had read a suitable devotional poem when SHE was leading intercessions at evening prayer!)

Another incidence was when I had to cancel my appointment to read the Bible reading at evening prayer because I was called to Shropshire in a family emergency. I had called the Vicar that morning to explain- but obviously not everyone realised that!

The next Sunday a very big, tall, male worthy parishoner who towered above me took it into his head, in his official capacity as a "sidesman", to "tell me off" in front of other gathered members!!
"Where were YOU last week?!" he demanded fiercely- "You COULD have let us know!!!!" "W-w-well- I d-did!"
I tried to explain, blushing deeply like a child caught making excuses at school for homework not handed in!!! Obviously the vicar hadn't told him.
Sometimes, it does take you aback- because you expect church to be a place where the love of Jesus abides and we all encourage and support each other.
I will say though that these incidences are far outweighed by some really caring actions by people in our church who DO reflect Jesus in reaching out others in the church and to the wider community with love.

I suppose in the end it's all about forgiveness- some people speak without putting their brains in gear first!!!
(In your case Dave- it could have been a case of older man seeking to worry what HE thought of as an upstart young pup! You should have reminded him of Paul's words to Timothy!!!- 1 Timothy 4:12!!!)