During worship this week, a beautiful young woman and her two young children came to visit her grandfather. The room in the skilled nursing community was crowded as always, but the family proved to be remarkably fluid and they settled in. She helped her grandfather with our song sheet and provided the children with some pages to color. I wish I would have asked where her grandfather was from, but I guess he was from Central or South America. His fingers were square as was his body. There was something both earthy and noble about both him and his granddaughter.
I told those who gathered with me if they were having trouble understanding communion, they should simply envision a mother tending to her family. I know I risk sounding like a heretic, but I sometimes think that at the communion table, we should offer communion to one another by saying, "This is my body given to you. This is the cup that overflows with my love for you." Surely both community and communion (the root words are identical) should inspire us to such generosity.
That day, just as I was about to pray over the communion elements, the mother gave her children some apple slices. The sweet scent of apple seemed to fill the room and suddenly I found myself yearning to be fed at a loving mother's makeshift table in a crowded room. I know Jesus talked a lot about the one he called Abba, but he also knew this hunger, and this Martha knew. May we remember.
Holy One, you who are both father and mother, sister and brother, forgive us when we overlook and underfeed. Thank you for sending us messengers who remind us that your eternal love is always on the move but that it will settle in surprising places. Help us to stay vigilant. We do not want to miss taking part in your great love.