We celebrated the Lord’s Supper this morning, something we do once a month. Today we did it around the table. A number of small tables were set in front of the sanctuary, a minister present at each one. We gathered around the table in groups of six or so, serving each other the gift of bread and (in my church) juice, the stuff of life and peace and hope.
I was so greatly moved as I looked around the table this morning and watched us serve each other. Eyes sparkled with genuine affection. We weren’t just serving another person. We were serving a friend.
I’m in the choir,so gathered together around the tables. As we shared the supper we shared the connections of long rehearsals and laughter and missed notes and the triumph that comes when we finally get that difficult section right.
I couldn’t help but think about my first experience of communion in this church. It was a strange and dislocated feeling. I’d come from a church I’d been a part of for decades. Coming forward for the Lord’s Supper always meant smiles and a hand on a shoulder and the recognition that comes when you spend twenty odd years in a community (some of them odder than others.).
But here in this new place I knew very few people. I felt like the cousin’s neighbor hauled off the to the family reunion with a pity invite.
What a difference a few years makes. I was now sharing the Supper with friends. The transformation didn’t just happen with time. I joined up. I showed up. I worked very hard to learn names, which can be intimidating in its own right. I invested myself in this community.
One of the things that I see people struggling with is a lack of community and connection. But community and connection don’t happen while you’re home binge watching Netflix. It takes the willingness to be inconvenienced. It takes the willingness to walk through the door of something new. It takes the willingness to make a commitment and invest of yourself. When you drop in and drop out as they winds of your whims blow, you’re not going to find the community that your soul needs.
Where do you find community? Where are you investing yourself?