At almost eighteen, in my senior year, I took a trip to my sister's in California at Easter time. This is my entry from my journal of a church service that touches my heart, still.
April 12, 1979
have to interrupt my first story to share the most beautiful experience
that happened to me tonight. Today is Thursday, but not any Thursday.
It is the Thursday in holy week just before Good Friday and Easter. On
this night many years ago, Jesus ate His last supper while He was
living. on earth. He was celebrating the Jewish holiday of the old
covenant. In this act, He began the new covenant. He broke the bread, as
His body would be broken and gave the wine as His blood would be shed.
Ever since this occasion, Christians have remembered the suffering of
Christ in this communion.
Tonight was a celebration of communion.
entered the Ridgecrest Covenant United Presbyterian Church, a fairly
modern building. Greeting me were very informal ushers. I chatted awhile
with them and then made my presence in the sanctuary. A young girl sat
on the floor in a black turtle neck shirt and ragged jeans. No shoes
were on her feet. Her sun bleached hair barely touched her shoulders.
She was intently strumming a guitar. Only a few people had gathered and I
sat in the second and last row.
I said a prayer of thanks
to be in the Lord's house. As I finished my thanksgiving, I looked to
the altar. Two loaves of homemade bread waited to be broken. Three
pitchers, very sleek, of grape juice also were ready for the silver cup.
Palms adorned the pulpit from the past Sunday. A peace filled my heart
and I was prepared for the service.
While I was like the supplements on the altar, a crippled woman hobbled in. I asked her to sit by me and she did.
pastor entered in his flowing black robe and the purple scarf of Lent.
He was a tall man and middle age; a calm smile of assurance spread on
He preached on the last days of Jesus' life, the
holy week up till Thursday. He told of His teachings and His services to
the people He loved. How Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.
Jesus could be the servant to His disciples by washing their feet, are
we greater than Jesus? We are to serve and minister.
The first song was the old Christian favorite, Amazing Grace. The truest song of any conversion. After the pastor told of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, we sang Father, Good and Kind, a most befitting hymn. As we prepared for the actual communion, we joined together in As I Survey the Cross, a song I love dearly.
pastor invited us to the communion table, encouraging us to be ruling
elders tonight. (in the Presbyterian church, the elected or ruling
elders serve communion to the congregation) Our crowd was small
prompting intimacy as we could serve each other.
As an acting elder, I served the bread and wine to the crippled lady. People served me, too, and it was so beautiful and close.
loaves were actually broken and we drank hearty shares of grape juice. I
imagine it was much like the Last Supper. The Christian fellowship was
there and love poured from my heart.
As Christians, we
need the fellowship of other Christians and we need to be reminded of
the actual broken body and shed blood of our Lord and Savior. We need
simplicity and a constant communion with our God. One to one, yet
sharing. We must not forget the Way, the Truth and the Life. We are part
of Jesus and He lives through us in ministering to the world.
Engage today in communion with your God. Remember the roots and the sacrifice of Jesus.