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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

November 19, 2020

“At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come’; for everything is ready now.'” Luke 14:17

Come, for all is now ready!  These words from Jesus’ Parable of the Great Dinner serve as the invitation for God’s people to come forward to receive Holy Communion. Even with various pauses in our in-person worship life this year, I have presided at the table more than in normal years. In part this is because the associate pastor position has been vacant. In part it’s because when we have been able to worship, it’s often been in small groups and so worship has been scheduled more often. Each time I preside, I am keenly aware of the gift and blessing it is to speak these words of invitation of behalf of the crucified and risen Christ who is both host and meal.

And now we are once again not gathering around the table. How do we come when the best thing to do is stay where we are? While I am constantly aware of my need for the gifts of Christ given and shed in his body and blood, I am also sure and certain that Christ is fully present for me in his Word while we, the Body of Christ, are physically separated from one another.

Connected in Christ, we are sustained in our separation. It’s not easy, I know. Not only are we not gathering around the altar, we are also entering a holiday season in which we are asked to not gather with those outside our household. But take comfort. All is still ready. When we cannot go, Christ comes to us. His promises of forgiveness, life, and salvation come to you. His presence with you draws us together. All is still ready. Christ comes to you.

And yes, I was the first one up today, so an early blog it is. I was ready!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of hope, your presence transcends time and space. The risen Christ fills creation. Help us during these days to feel the strength of the bonds that connect us. Give us ears hear your Word, to know your promise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Lyle family table, around which the five of us gather for holiday meals.

From → COVID-19

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