Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In 2005, I found myself in a particularly “dry” spiritual season. Rarely, did I feel the presence of the holy. In worship, I felt abandoned. It was painful. I was in extension ministry at the time and not regularly leading worship. One Sunday, when I could not bring myself to set foot in my own church, I wandered around and found myself attending Mass in a Roman Catholic Church. As a Protestant minister I knew that I was not welcome at a Catholic communion table. The congregation sang “Come to the Table of Plenty” as the faithful Catholic communicants moved forward to receive the very body of blood of Jesus. I knelt on a kneeler resting my hands on the back of the pew in front of me. Voices floated around me….
My bread will ever sustain you Through days of sorrow and woe.
My wine will flow like a sea of gladness To flood the depths of your soul
Come to the feast of heaven and earth! Come to the table of plenty!
God will provide for all that we need, Here at the table of plenty
(Dan Schutte 1992)
In the midst of my anger, sorrow, abandonment and sense of alienation, I heard a still, small voice echoing Paul’s words to the Romans, “Nothing will separate us from the love God that is in Christ Jesus.” In that moment, I knew that I had been fed at the Lord’s Table.
As a sacramental Christian, Communion is deeply meaningful for me. In this season of COVID-19, I hear clergy debating whether communion could be online or “bring your own elements” to a drive-in style worship service in the car. I won’t express an opinion about that. There is no doubt in my mind that God ‘s invitation breaks through. There is no holding God back! Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Neither heights, nor depths nor Governor’s orders nor the Novel Corona Virus can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Sharing in a love feast seems to me to be an appropriate response for communing in our COVID isolation. https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/the-love-feast.
However you live your sacramental life, know that God is present.