Thursday, April 13, 2017

Don't Dine Alone

I have always been the type of person who believes spirituality is a personal relationship with God. But I used to believe that's where it all ended.

Religion was just a bunch of unnecessary traditions, and the church was where those traditions were put into practice by a bunch of people who a) were after money; b) thought they were better than everyone else; and c) didn't truly know what it's like to have that personal relationship with Christ.

While I do still believe it is about a personal relationship, I have begun to believe that it is also about interpersonal relationships with others. It is about the unity of us all in Christ. It's not just about our own journey, but about the journey of all those who cross our path, walk with us, sometimes carry us, and are sometimes carried by us.

This truth has become clearer these past few years, and especially on this night - Maundy Thursday.

The church I attend usually does Holy Communion one person at a time. We form a line, each one being given their bread one at a time, given the wine one at a time, and then going back to their pew, one individual at a time. This night was different.

The communion rails were in place, and in groups of 8-10 (or however many could fit at the rails), we knelt before the altar, received the bread and wine, and received the blessing together. And then together as a group, we were dismissed.

We were in unity, dining together as Christ and his disciples did.

I was reminded that those at the table with me were also on a journey. They were on their own personal spiritual journey. But they were also on the same journey I travel - a journey we walk together.

Today's Lenten sacrifice:

Let go of the assumption that it's only your journey.

Dine with others. Share the great feast with others. Pray with others. Embrace all who walk the path with you. Don't let go of your own personal time with God - this is important too. But remember to let others in and recognize their presence with you, and the unity you share in Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father: Thank you for those with whom you've blessed me, both in the past and in the present - those still with me and those who've moved on. Too often we remember our personal journey with you, but forget that we are in need of the unity of others with you. Help us to recognize and accept the gifts of friends and family, the sisters and brothers with whom we share our journey. In the name of your son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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