Car Communion

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I had communion in my car yesterday. I spent Sunday morning with my daughter and our dog at the beach, so listened to the sermon from Sunday while driving to work on Monday. Communion happened. I ate a goldfish from my lunch bag and drank water (I had no juice with me.) It was a powerful time even though I was driving. I understand for some denominations, communion has a lot of rules and order to it. I respect that fully. For my church, communion is about remembering what God did for us. It’s a time to be still, reflect, and be thankful.

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. ~Luke 22:19-20 NIV

Communion can be with any element representing bread and any liquid representing the wine/fruit of the vine. Do this in remembrance of me – Jesus says this at the Last Supper with His disciples during the Passover meal. He also clarifies that there is a new covenant. The old ways, following the law of the Torah and the required sacrifices, are replaced with His shed blood, His death and resurrection, and we are free to approach God in confidence.

As a youth, communion scared me. I felt that I was “unworthy” to take it because I had cussed too much or had kissed a boy too long. I was always afraid if I took communion and had any sin in my life, I would get sick or bad things would happen. Not true and not Biblical. This is the verse that tripped me up.

So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world. ~ I Corinthians 11:17-32 NIV

I’m not a theologian but the key is, examine your life before taking communion. The scripture says “if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves.” Ask forgiveness for the sin in your life. You have sin in your life. Communion is a time to reflect on your life and on God’s gift of His son. Reflection should lead to conviction, repentance, forgiveness, and reconnection with God through remembrance. I know I am simplifying a very complicated, and dividing, issue in Christianity – communion. The reality is this, God wants to be remembered. Communion is one way to do that. When done “right”, in a spirit of reflection and remembrance, it deepens your walk and draws you into His presence. When done with no regard, no reflection, and no remembrance, it is a sin.

During Covid, our church did drive through communion. It was awesome. We were given the elements through our car window. They were all individually sealed. As we wore our masks, a member of the church staff prayed and led us in communion. Powerful. In my car yesterday, my pastor led me through communion with goldfish and water. Whether you wafer, bread or goldfish – it doesn’t matter. If you wine, grape juice, or water – it doesn’t matter. It’s a heart posture. Reflect. Repent. Remember. That is communion.

Oxford Dictionary defines communion 2 ways:

  1. the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.
  2. the service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.

Partaking in the bread and wine allows us to engage in definition #1 – sharing and exchanging our intimate thoughts and feelings with God. Communion strips off the sin that has weighed us down and restores us in right relationship with God. Take communion to restore your communion with God. In church. With your small group. With your family. In your car.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

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The Weekend

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I know it’s Tuesday. We just finished a 3 day weekend though and I had some reflections.

I had Monday off of work . Our company observed Juneteenth on Monday, June 20 since June 19 was a Sunday. If you aren’t aware of this new federal holiday, take some time to educate yourself on it. It has been celebrated for many years by the black community. June 19 was the day slavery ended. The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed but it wasn’t until 2 years after that, on June 19, that the slaves and slave owners in Texas got the memo. The significance of this holiday is now honored as a federal holiday. However, I don’t see much knowledge of it yet. I think it will take some time and education to get our communities to understand the significance of this day. Summer school still started, business was as usual at most places, and other than my church, I didn’t see many public celebrations. I am grateful for my new understanding of this day and my coworkers who threw a Juneteenth party at work.

Sunday not only was Juneteenth but it was Father’s Day as well. I spent the morning with my dad. We had breakfast burritos, good conversation, and some cookie cake. It was lovely. I hope you had time to honor your dad, or father figures, in your life this weekend. Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, often is a complicated day for many. Missing a dad who passed away, grieving the dad who was absent in your life, celebrating a dad who was present and still is, or maybe being a single mom and being alone that day. Regardless, the one true Father we can celebrate every day is God. He is our father, daddy, Abba. I had the pleasure of leading worship on Sunday. We sang a hymn called This is my Father’s World. It speaks of everyone and everything giving praise back to Him. The birds’ song is praise. The morning light is praise. The flowers blooming is praise. If you don’t have an earthly father to celebrate, celebrate the One True Father – God. He will never leave you, disappoint you, or harm you. He will hold you, comfort you, guide you, lovingly correct you, and always be there.

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

~ Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

My weekend had set plans. Walking the Rose Bowl with friends. Time with my dad on Father’s Day. Leading worship on Sunday. Monday hanging with my kids. However, 2 unexpected plans came up for me. We often plan our days and most likely, our weekends, to be how we want them to be. Sometimes other things invade those plans. Some good and some bad. I had the pleasure of making my weekend even more full by spending time with my college roommate Friday night. I knew she was in town but we hadn’t solidified our time together. It was Friday night. As always, we pick up in the middle of a conversation. Our friendship just deepens with time and distance doesn’t harm it. Grateful to have added Friday night plans. Saturday had an unplanned event too. My dear friend lost her father a week ago and pulled together a funeral service that happened on Saturday an hour from my home. Of course, I made it fit into my full weekend. It’s what we do. We are there for those we love. A beautiful service and wonderful time of connection with her and her family, who I have known since Junior High. God’s presence invaded the day. I got a front row seat to a father who raised a family to love Jesus and His legacy continues in the faith of his children and grandchildren.

I had a lot to juggle for my weekend. I usually don’t fill my weekends because I need down time. I need my tea with God. Yet, God showed up in the events of the weekend. He sat with me and my college roommate on her mom’s patio while we chatted. He walked the Rose Bowl with me. He definitely moved mightily at Saturday afternoon’s funeral and dinner afterwards. Sunday, He enjoyed time with my dad and me and spoke to the congregation through hymns. Monday, He enjoyed the laughter and pleasure of my kids and I enjoying one another.

When your weekend, or your day, becomes more full than planned, regroup and invite God. See Him in the “unplanned” parts of your day. It was no surprise to Him how my weekend would be. He provided exactly what I needed when I needed it. He gave me words to speak to encourage and comfort friends. He gave my friends words to return the favor. He is in the weekends of our lives – planned or unplanned. I hope you met Him this weekend. If not, invite Him next weekend. It will fill your time with joy.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Into the Light

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The light shines in the darkness , and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ John 1:5 NIV

It’s time to shed light on all things. Things hidden bring shame. Freedom comes when we release hidden things. This past year our church has emphasized the importance of confession. What have you kept in the dark that needs light shed on it?

I am part of a life group – a group of women who gather weekly to share life. We confess, pray, encourage, and love each other. When u step into confession, it needs to be done with safe people who live in God’s grace and know how to extend it to others. Facebook is not a place for confession. Who are your safe, grace-filled confidants?

Scripture tells us, if we confess, we no longer need to feel shame or accuse ourselves of being “bad.” We are forgiven and receive God’s gift of grace.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~I John 1:9 NIV

Sometimes confession is just revealing more of who you are, not just an admission of sin. Today I want to reveal a part of me some of you don’t know. I know for a fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am fully loved by God. I have hesitated sharing this part of me because people have strong views on the topic. If you read my blog, you know me, my heart and my desire to seek God and His way. So, I confess I am divorced. I am not going into details here, but am happy to talk privately with any of you who want to. I felt such shame my marriage failed that it kept me in a marriage that needed to end a long time ago. Once I brought it into the light, I found support, grace, and understanding. I also was met with judgement and loss of some friendships. From this day forward, I come to you as I am – a woman of God, single mom, and lover of truth and His way.

Find your safe place of friends to confess. Don’t allow those things that shame you stay in the dark any longer. Bring them into the light. You are loved right where you are.

Dream Big! Pray Big!