Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Visitor's Comments

This last Sunday was Corpus Christi - the feast focusing on the Body of Christ. The morning's worship centered on the meaning of Holy Communion.

I'm going to post an email that I received from a fellow-believer who joined us for worship last Sunday morning. The PCUSA general assembly was here in Birmingham last week, and three adventurous Presbyterians decided to find an emergent-like place to worship . . . and our website scored the best . . . so they came to worship with us.

I hesitate to post this because he says some complimentary things about me . . . and it's not because I am so humble that I usually don't usually share this type of stuff, but because pride is such dangerous enemy. The truth is I would love to share things like this for all the wrong reasons!

But while I'm confessing this to hedge against being self-promoting, not sharing it would keep others of you who share in this congregation from being encouraged and blessed. What I find in his comments is a testimony to God's work - that someone can come among us and they do see what I hope we are living out. This is a glory to God . . . he is helping us to live the life of community and faith that we hear Jesus talking about.

So here is his email to me on Monday - note particularly the insightful postscript about how a dismembered world is being re-membered in holy communion.


You had to go off to other responsibilities and we were mobbed by more of your members (that we found out weren't really members, since you don't have members), so I didn't get to speak with you after the service. [I was the one you didn't put to work.] I want you to know that the moment of transformation you described in your sermon/message/whatever YOU would call it happened for me. I told my new friends that you gave me ideas for about six communion meditations. (If those were "random" thoughts, I would like to hear you speak when you are really focused.)

I know the service was not about you, and it was designed to make that very clear, but I think you should know how very deeply the experience touched me, in mind, heart and spirit. Both sides of my brain and that part of me that is beyond thought were thoroughly engaged.

Your community is well named. I felt like I was among people seeking to live as disciples and who exhibit what true fellowship in Christ is about.

It was not MY design that brought the three of us Presbyterians together in the first place, surely not my effort that discovered your fellowhip, nor my inclination to drive to the other side of town; but God knew what needed to happen, and I am grateful.

Maybe even some of us stodgy Presbyterians can trim our sails to this move of the Spirit. Thank you for showing us what can be.

Grace and peace,
(name omitted)

PS: one communion idea your sermon triggered: If the opposite of remember is not forget, can the opposite of remember be dis-member? It is in re-membering that what is torn apart by the world is brought back together in Christ.

1 comment:

A said...

This makes me want to vist Birmingham. :)