Last Saturday, July 4th I was very honored to give the communion meditation at Serenity Church in The Colony, TX – my home in the Body of Christ. This was significant for me personally because I adore the sacrament of communion, but also because sharing my heart and thoughts with a church like this was something that I thought I was giving up as I began this journey over a year ago. It was so humbling and such a blessing to be able to speak my heart again.
The following is what I presented that night. I hope it will touch some more hearts out here:
On Friday, March 13th I found myself out of a job. It was job that I hated with a company that I had increasing moral issues with, but it had been a steady paycheck for several years. That Saturday I woke up and the panic set in. I began taking inventory of my spiritual support network and found it to be lacking – in fact in the year prior to that it had essentially been gutted and ripped out of my life. I prayed that morning that God would bring me to a group of healthy, thriving believers where I could continue to not only grow but question my faith.
One week later I walked through the doors of Serenity church for the very first time. As the service went on I noticed puffs of vapor rose from the congregation, the bass player was showing more ink than my Theology text books and when this gentlemen got up to speak – he took off his shoes! In my own head I looked up to God and said, “Really? Perhaps I should have been more specific!”
But as I experienced the Sereniliturgy for the first time and then sat through an Overcomers (recovery) meeting for the first time there was no doubt in my mind that God was answering that prayer. As I reflected on that in the weeks that followed, I realized that mine was not the only prayer being answered that day, and I would dare say everyday since Serenity Church’s conception – and hopefully in other gatherings around the world.
Let me take you back a few thousand years and a little bit to the very night that this idea of “communion” was first introduced to us. As that night wore on, Christ had gone with his followers to a place where he could find a spot to be alone and he prayed a prayer. If you’d like to read it, it can be found in the gospel of John, Chapter 17.
In that prayer, Christ first prays for himself and the task that lies in front of him, then he prays for his disciples – those that have been walking with him and learning from him during his time on earth, then he prays for those who would believe in him by hearing their message, which, a few hundred spiritual generations later, includes all of us. One thing specifically that he prayed is what I both needed and felt that Saturday a few months ago – he asked his Heavenly Father to “let them be one; just as you are in me and I am in you.”
As I think about the significance of this day for our nation and read the history of the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution and Bill of Rights I am keenly aware that all those moments nearly never happened because the delegates that brought them fourth were so focused on what was dividing them. It was ultimately the leadership of a few key figures that kept bringing the conversation back to what united them that launched our great nation. And I firmly believe that if the church in America crumbles it will not be due to a ruling of The Supreme Court, an executive decision for the the White House, an ivory tower or a glass penthouse boardroom, it won’t be due to the ACLU, the NRA, or because someone hung the wrong flag outside.
If the church crumbles it will be because we were too focused on what divides us and not enough on what unites us.
It is the breaking of His body and the spilling of his blood – his sacrifice on our behalf – that paves they way for the Holy Spirit to come and unite us – to give us the ultimate sense of togetherness.
What we celebrate each week here is a sacrament of “togetherness” – communing both with Christ in His sacrifice and with each other in the love that he passes on to us. I would like to encourage you – not that most of you need much encouragement – but as you come forward and receive these symbols – take a brief moment of togetherness with someone you may not have greeted in a while, or perhaps never before.
If this is your first time with us, brace yourself – we are so glad you are here and I hope and pray you experience the same answered prayers that I have – that we would all find great peace in being one with God and His people.