Category Archives: Communion

The Communion of Saints

 

Thursday was Halloween.  Friday was All Saints Day or All Souls Day.  It’s not a day that most Protestants pay attention to.  I don’t much myself.  But these communion gigs sort of force me to think about such things.

All Saints Day means different things to different Christians.  For me it’s a day to remember all those brothers and sisters who have gone on before us.  I like to think of my grandparents and of those sort of famous Christians I admire like Keith Greene and C.S. Lewis.  So that’s all of six people.  It’s hard to imagine the size of it all.  The communion of saints.  The church.  Those still here, down the street, around the globe. Wikipedia reckons over two-billion Christians around the world.  And those who have gone on.  Our own family members, plus all those who are lost to history, and those who made a lasting mark that we remember–Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther, Mother Theresa, Saint Peter.  All of us. And All Saints Day is a day to remember and celebrate our giant family.

So when we come to celebrate the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ, we don’t come by ourselves.  We come together as a community.  Communion, right?  And we don’t come as just this community, but with all those people I mentioned.  The Assembly of God down the street, the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe, the Coptic church, the Amish, small home churches, hidden underground churches, cowboy churches and snake handlers.  And don’t forget my Methodist grand parents, the baptist preacher Marin Luther King, Jr., the catholic reformer Luther, the Catholic nun Mother Theresa, and the Jewish fisherman Peter.  All our bothers and sisters.

That’s a pretty diverse groups.  Can you imagine the worship planning meetings.  We probably have more in common with our non-believing neighbors than we do with most of that list.

Jesus saw this when he prayed for his disciples. He prayed, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

I don’t know if it’s good theology or not, but I like to imagine this communion of saints, those still here, and those who have gone, united, not just in this communion time, but in all we do to grow the church, to build the kingdom, to love each other, take care of each other, and to strengthen each other to take this love out into the world.

I’d like to finish with something from the episcopal book of common prayer.

O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions; take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatever else may hinder us from godly union and concord; that, as there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

A Little Do-over

From the end of summer a couple years ago.

 

It’s a time for new starts.  Not just this morning, but this month.  For many of us or for our kids, or maybe just for the kids in your neighborhood, this week kids started school, or in my case completed the first full week of school.  For me, like most teachers here I would guess, this is the time of year when we think about all the cool new stuff we’re going to do this year,  and all of the stuff from last year that didn’t work that we’ll be getting rid of.  I like these fresh starts.  I like the do overs.

I like New Years resolutions,  I make them every year.  Some I keep all year, mostly, with maybe a couple little mini start overs in there.  And some don’t make it at.  But either way, they help me figure out what’s important.  I even have summer resolutions to help me get things done then.  And I make a similar list on my birthday.  And in thinking about all these fresh starts, I’ve kind of decided that since my kids are getting older, I need to make some kind of list on their birthdays so I can do important and fun things with them before they’re grown and out of the house.

And sometimes we feel we need a do over with god.  Most of us here, I think it’s safe to say, have at some time made a private and public commitment to follow Jesus.  And most of us have somewhere along the line, felt like we’ve messed things up so royally with god or with our family or friends, that we need a major start over, just so we can put all that stuff behind us.  And if that’s the case, you might talk to the pastor or an elder, and maybe come up after the song of invitation and do just that.

Or maybe you just need a little do over.  That’s one of the things I like about communion.  It’s a chance each week to talk to god about little changes that need to be made.  It’s a reminder that maybe I need to patch things up with a friend, or pay more attention to my wife and kids.

So as you take the bread and the cup, remember, our god is the god of the do over.  Just like the father of the prodigal son story, he’s there for us, waiting with open arms, having already forgiven us, and ready to help us get back on track.

Amen

Take My Heart and Seal It

This isn’t a communion meditation that I wrote.  It’s a call to worship that my wife wrote and delivered last summer. 

 

I have a soft spot for old hymns.  I love the new songs we sing too, but hymns are not only beautiful, they give me some nostalgia of my childhood growing up in the church.  I also like the glimpse hymns give us into the hearts and mind of Christians who lived 200 or more years before us.  One I particularly like for that reason is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson.  It has the word “thou” in it – so for me it brings images of stodgy, judgmental, set in their ways, puritans.  But Robinson kind of cracks that mold.  First he says,

“Come thou fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace.”

He knew the human heart was a fickle thing that needed to be tuned regularly to be right.  I really like that metaphor.

But then he goes on to really surprise me later in the song when he writes,

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.”

That line always grabs me.  Here, this 18th century Christian, before rock music, before Hollywood, and the internet and organized sports – this ancestral brother in Christ also felt a tendency to stray from God.  Life is so busy and there are so many things demanding our attention – we may not make a dramatic decision to leave God, but I find myself doing it almost as soon as I walk out the church doors every Sunday.  It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone and that Christians have been struggling with this problem for centuries.  So, this morning I hope you’ll join me with Robinson in making this request to God,

“Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.”

God, thank you for the blessing we receive from our brothers and sisters in Christ, those we have with us now and those who have come before.  Take our hearts this morning and tune them to bring glory to you. Amen.

Zombie Communion

This zombie metaphor from about three years ago I thought was pretty clever, which I guess I can say because I didn’t think of it in the first place.  I don’t know how well it holds up.  It might work better for a full sermon, but it seems a bit much for just a short messages. 

 

Whenever someone asks me what they should preach on, and it doesn’t happen a lot, I’ve always answered, preach the gospel.  Easy to say for someone not preaching every week.  Now, after doing a few of these communion meditations, I can see why a preacher might wander on to other topics-–like, for example, zombies in popular culture-–books, tv, movies.  But I’m not going to do that today.  Actually, I am, in just a minute.

But first, Preach the gospel.  So what’s the gospel? What is this “good news?”  I think it’s this.  People are broken, and fortunately God doesn’t care. He loves us anyway, and through Jesus he offers us an opportunity to help bring his kingdom of love into the world.

So what’s this have to do with zombies?  Zombies, I think, after listening to a theologian and youth minister named Tripp Fuller, are an interesting way to think about this human brokenness, what is sometimes called “original sin.” A zombie has one desire, and it will hurt anyone or itself to have that desire met.  It doesn’t reflect on what’s right or wrong.  It doesn’t think.  It wants what it wants and will kill or die to get what it wants. The scary thing about zombies is that they are us.  They’re not aliens or giant animals or ghosts.  They are us, gone wrong.  And it’s scary to think that we are not only our own worst enemy, but we are dangerous to our family and friends as well. Why do we do these destructive things?  Why do we hurt ourselves and the one’s we love?  The apostle Paul asked the same questions.  Why, he asked, do I do the things I know I shouldn’t and don’t do the things I know I should.

The question is, does god fix this?  Does god fix us?  I don’t think so.  Or maybe not the way I would if I were god.  I don’t have to look any farther than myself to see a believer that carries the zombie virus and occasionally exhibits all the traits of full blown zombie.  I don’t think of others all the time. I want what I want, and when I get it, I don’t appreciate it.

So what’s the point if we’re all just zombies.  Well, keep in mind that the zombie thing is just a metaphor, and it can only be stretched so far.  But god knows how we are.  God made us.  God knows what we’re capable of, both good and bad.  And like I said before, god loves us and has given us the opportunity to help bring god’s kingdom into the world.  But I don’t think I’m cured.  I’m still broken, still sick.  Fortunately god provides a number of tools to help me, a part-time zombie, with god’s work.  God sent the Holy Spirit. We have this community of believers.  And we have his Word – Jesus Christ, who is revealed in the bible, and in the body of believers, and in our everyday lives.  If we just pay attention, we’ll see him everywhere and in everybody.

So as we take the bread and the cup, and remember what Jesus did for us, and what he does for us, remember that no matter how messed up you think you are, you’re probably right, and communion isn’t the medicine that will make you better.  But it is a reminder that god loves you just the way you are, and that god calls you to love all the broken people around you in the same way.

Amen.

The Dark Parts of Our Stories

This is from about three years ago.  I know today’s not Palm Sunday.  But in my experience we have dark times throughout the year.

 

Palm Sunday.  Jesus rides in to Jerusalem and is honored as a king

As we know how the story ends, it is easy for us to celebrate with the crowds today, call this coming Friday “Good,” and then meet again next week for the biggest celebration on the church calendar.  But we miss key parts of the story when we do that, the dark parts.

I want to talk real briefly about where we would be without those dark parts in our own lives, and about a reason it’s important that Christ went through those very bad times.

First, imagine life without the darkest parts.  What if some of our favorite stories were told that way?  Dorothy lands in Oz, follows the yellow brick road to the Emerald City where without incident she rides the balloon to Kansas.  Bruce Wayne and his parents enjoy a night out.  And he grows up to be a fairly well adjusted millionaire.  Uncle Billy realizes what he did with the money, and George Bailey never wishes he was never born, and everyone has a merry Christmas.

What about the real stories of our lives.  It’s nice to imagine them without the hard times we faced, death, oppression, and abandonment.  Where would I be without heartbreak and disappointment?  What if the girls I pursued in high school and college had reciprocated my feelings? What would I be doing now if my first real job as news manager at a small Kansas radio station would have been all that I dreamed rather than the depressing and discouraging situation that it was?  What if our initial neat and tidy plans for having children went exactly as planned?  It’s easy to wish that the difficult parts of our lives never happened.  But the difficult parts happen all the time, and now that we know how these stories end, would we give them up?

Finally, it’s important to remember the dark parts of this wonderful week, not just because we know how the story ends, but because we still experience darkness.

And it’s important to remember that we worship a god who is with us in the darkness, a god who has suffered, and continues to suffer with us.  Where is god when awful things happen?  He’s right there, in the hospitals, on the battlefields, in the streets, in the homes of scared and hungry children.  Just as he was 2000 years ago, with the sick, the hungry, the outcast, being left by his friends, beaten, and hung up on a cross as an example to others who not only side with the losers, but dare to stand up with them against those who oppress.

So as we prepare to remember our lord’s last supper, before he hurt, suffered, and died, it’s nice to know the end of the story.  But sometimes we don’t.  And when we’re hurting, our god is Immanuel.  He is with us.

Amen.

Post-election Communion

From just after the election a couple of years ago.

 

I was hoping to have been assigned the communion mediation a couple weeks ago so that I could tell you who and what to vote for, so that I could make sure that you voted the way god wanted you too.  (that was a joke)

It’s hard to separate religion discussions from political discussion.  Even whether we should do that or not is another discussion in itself.  I know that in the weeks prior to the election, there was much discussion not just about politics, but about the effect the recent election had on people.  Students in my classroom got ugly with each other because of how their parents were voting.  People on facebook got ugly with each other based on where their “friends” got their news.  Even some my facebook friends, which is a relatively small and regularly-thinned-out group (thinned out even more since this last election season), my Christian facebook friends in particular, really showed their backsides, really showed that we are indeed, not perfect, not even close. Heck, we’re not even civil or pleasant or nice much of the time.

And why?  Because, I think, we loose sight.  We forget.  We forget a lot of things.  We forget that we can’t serve two masters.  We forget that birds of the field are cared for.  We forget that they will know us by our love.

We forget that it is up to us, working with God, working with each other, working with our friends and enemies, to bring about the kingdom of god, to see that, as Jesus prayed, our father’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

We forget that it is not up to the people in Washington, Jeff City, Butler or Adrian City Hall, to make this happen.  It is up to us.

So, what would it look like if we were the change we want to see in the world.  How could we help the kingdom come, without the help of our government or our news providers.

It might look like this.  Special people who need extra love and care would get it.  Grade school kids would know that someone loves them.  Kids would learn to love science, and robots, and music, and art, and p.e. (ok, they would probably love p.e. anyway); to the delight of dozens of vbs kids, this stage would become transformed to something totally cool every summer; kids in trouble with the law would be dealt with by people that, while putting up with no crap, love them; pregnant girls who need love and care, would get it; people who need food would have it delivered with a smile; kids with cancer would be rallied around and supported by their communities; people in the hospital would get visited and prayed for; neighborhood kids would be welcomed in for a visit;  little league kids would be coached; people that need work would get it; people that need help with bills would get it; neighbors who need a hand with something would only have to ask.

I know you’re ahead of me.  Yes this happens right now, from right here. These things and more.  More from this part of Christ’s body, more from other parts of Christ’s body, down the street and around the world.

This is what we can do to build the kingdom.

Being hateful to our friends, to our leaders, to our enemies.  Not going to do it.

Waiting for the right people to be elected and the right laws to be passed.  Nope.

Showing everyone how right we are.  Definitely not.

God asks of us, I think, just what he asked and got from Jesus, throughout his life up to the night he was crucified—to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with god.

So as you take the bread and the juice, I’d encourage all of us to ask ourselves, where can I start?

Amen.

The Whole World

Happy late epiphany. From four years ago.

 
This is epiphany Sunday.  Epiphany is one of those dates on the church calendar that doesn’t get a lot of attention from most of us.  Epiphany Sunday is the celebration of the arrival of the three wise men from the East to visit baby Jesus – actually probably toddler Jesus.  Wise men, kings, magi.  The question is, what were these star gazers from afar – a couple year’s walk away – doing visiting Jesus?   Jesus was to be the Jewish Messiah; he was to liberate and bring glory to God’s chosen people – the Jews.  What difference would that make to anyone else from somewhere else?  Jesus’ disciples asked the same question when Jesus dealt with the non-Jews – a Samaritan woman at the well, a Roman soldier, even the undesirable Jews.   Why waste your time with them?

In our nativity set when I was a kid, our three wise men were multiracial.  One white, one black, one Asian.  I don’t know how historically accurate that is, but I think it’s exactly what epiphany is about – Jesus being recognized as the savior of not just Israel, not just the insiders, but of the whole world that the gospel of John tells us God loved so much.  And that is good news, especially for us outsiders.

I want us to see epiphany as a challenge and a reason to celebrate.

The challenge is to remember that as unworthy outsiders offered love by the creator of the universe, we need to pass that love along to those we consider unworthy outsiders.  When we pray for our friends or our soldiers, let’s remember to pray for our enemies.  When we do things for those we love, let’s try also to do them for those that we hate, or those who hate us.

The celebration is that the kingdom of God has come.  God is active in the world. And we are called to participate in this.   The blind see and the lame walk.  The hungry are fed.  The thirsty are receiving water.  Prisoners are being visited.  Not all of them of course.  Not yet.  We have work to do.  But we have the privilege of taking part in this life-changing, world-changing movement.

So as we take the bread and cup this morning, I encourage you to remember the wise men who visited a young Jesus, who somehow knew that his would be a life and death and resurrection to be recognized, celebrated, and emulated by the whole world.

Amen.

Comfort and Affliction

This one is from January 2012. 

 

It’s such an old tradition, maybe the oldest tradition in the church.  It’s celebrated so many different ways around the world, and really even in Bates county we’d find a variety of ways of doing communion.

In the same way that one of the things I liked about the Eucharist in the Episcopal church was the comfort of the same words each Sunday, those words that were so familiar that they embraced and centered me when I needed it, I like that here we get to hear from someone different each Sunday.  We get to share someone else’s walk and struggle for a bit.  And the one’s I like best are the ones that challenge us.

And then I got to thinking, do we go to church to be comforted or challenged.  And of course it’s both.  And then I got to thinking about how Jesus treated those he came into contact with.  And he did challenge them.  And when I got to thinking about the some of these people he challenged, I was reminded of a statement about the press that I tracked back to journalist Finley Peter Dunne, who said 100 years ago, that the purpose of the press is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.  That’s what Jesus did.

Lepers, and prostitutes, and Samaritans, and all kinds of “unclean,” he spent time with and ate with and left them comforted.

When the woman caught in adultery was about to be stoned, Jesus challenged those with rocks in their hands to stop, a comfort to her I’m sure, and then he challenged the woman to stop sinning.

When the gentile woman begged for crumbs from the table, he challenged her, and she accepted the challenge, and then he offered her comfort.

When Jesus spotted Zachius up in the tree, he challenged him to invite him for dinner, actually it seems like he sort of invited himself.  But Zachius accepted the challenge, and by dinner’s end, Zachius was a changed man.

The unclean woman who touched the hem of Jesus garment, was healed, then challenged, then sent home in peace.

Obviously I could go on.

On the other hand, Religious and political leaders that he spent time with were left feeling insulted, disrespected, afflicted.

The Pharisees he called white washed tombs, clean on the outside, filled with rot and stink on the inside.  He mocked their idea that they were sons of Abraham, something God could make out of rocks if he wanted to.  The challenge was too great.  They responded to Jesus’ challenges with anger and pride.

He challenged the money lenders outside the temple by trashing their stuff.

Even when the rich young man, who seemed earnest, came and told Jesus he followed all the commandments, Jesus challenged him to sell all he had and give the money to the poor.  He left sad, afflicted.  The challenge was too great.

Near the end, he challenged Peter’s idea that violence is how God wants us to solve problems.  A challenge that we continue to wrestle with.

Peter faced the challenge of standing up as a follower of Christ in the face of real danger.  The challenge was too great.

As Jesus hung on the cross he forgave the soldiers driving the nails and throwing dice for his clothes; this continues to be a challenge to me.  He welcomed, I suspect, both the criminals being crucified with him into kingdom of God, but for one of them, the challenge was too great.

And as he died, he challenged our idea of what it means to be king, to have power, to use that power to serve, not to rule.

I’m sure you can find yourself in one or more of those encounters with Jesus, or maybe another springs to mind, one that makes you feel good, or one that afflicts you.

So why are you here today?  To be challenged or to be comforted?

Jesus gives us both, I think, at the same time, one not canceling out the other.

As you take communion in a minute, remember what Jesus did, how he responded to the hurt in others, how he responded to the sin, how he responds to us.  And while there are times that we truly need comforting, I suspect we’re mostly where God wants us to be when we’re uncomfortable, when we’re struggling to understand God, when we’re struggling to do the difficult things we know we should do.  I believe we serve a God of challenge.  So as you take the bread and the cup, I hope you find there both comfort and affliction, and do with them what God would have you do.

Amen.

Three-fold coming of Christ

The communion messages of Christmas keep on coming. This is from Christmas time of last year.  I know there are some who will think I missed an important coming of Christ from my list.  I did that on purpose. I thought about it when I wrote this.  I knew it might upset some people.  And in fact, someone did indeed feel the need to say publicly that I should have included the last coming of Christ in my message.  But I think focusing on that one tends to undo the last one I mention.  I think it’s important that we don’t sit on our fat butts and wait for god to sort out everyone’s problems in the end.  It’s our job, I believe, to bring comfort to the afflicted, and affliction to the comfortable.  But who want to do that when we are the comfortable.  Anyway, I’ve gone and got myself all riled up.  Peace.

 

Well, it’s the second week of advent.

Advent, as some of you know, is the time for anticipating Christ’s coming. One cool thing about advent, and communion time, is that it gives Christ’s coming context.  It fills in the before and the after of this important event.  And I want to do that a little this morning.

Also, I like the idea that we’re anticipating a three-fold coming of Christ. There’s Christ’s coming into each of our own individual lives, in whatever shape that takes.  There’s Christ’s coming into the world as baby Jesus.  And Christ’s continual entering into the world through us, his church, his hands and feet.  I want to talk about all three of these comings—stories we relive every year.
Each of us has lived in darkness.  All of us, I’ll be so bold to say, still struggle with that darkness.  And lighting the advent candles, one candle, one week at a time, reminds of this.  The darkness, slowly gives way to light as the candles of hope, peace, joy, and love are lit.  And we remember, whether it was at a junior high church camp, or after a long struggle with addiction, or at a time when you weren’t even looking and were surprised by Christ’s coming into your life, we remember our own first encounter with Christ and our movement from darkness into light.  And we are encouraged to continue.

And of course there’s the coming of Christ as the baby Jesus.  If ever an event needed context in the world, this is it.  As silly as it is to hear the character in the film Talladega Nights pray to 8 pound, six ounce, newborn baby Jesus, the point is made.  To much of the world, safe little baby Jesus is the one we know, the one we’re comfortable with, the one who doesn’t challenge us.

Because we know baby Jesus grew up.  And he lived out the words of the prophets.  “Undo the bands of the yoke, And let the oppressed go free.  Divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; and when you see the naked, to cover him.”   When god came to us, here on earth, as a man, he told us to care for the poor and the sick and the outcast.  And he lived an example of this for us.  And he showed us what happens when you stand up against the powers of the world, and stand with and for the weak and disenfranchised.  He was crucified.

But after they killed him, he came back.  And he continues to come back.  This is the third coming of Christ that I mentioned before. Every time someone visits a prisoner, or feeds the hungry, or clothes those that need clothes, or sits with the weird lonely person at school or work, or shares what they have with folks that won’t be able to return the favor; there’s Jesus, the one in prison and hungry and naked, the outcasts sitting by themselves, those hungry kids we see on TV, and the one’s in our own community.  And there’s Jesus too, visiting, feeding and clothing; our hands and feet, our time and effort, hopefully. Jesus coming into the world again and again and again.  Merry Christmas.

Amen.

Where God Is Not

This is from a couple years ago. I’d encourage you to keep an eye out for god in 2015. It’s often not easy.

The thing about writing these words, these introductions to communion, is that it forces me to pay attention to things, to be on the lookout for something to say, or someway to say one of the same things I always say, but a little differently.  And sometimes, even though Don is flawless in emailing the schedule every month, I don’t realize until a couple days before, that I need to have something prepared.  So I desperately start looking for something to talk about.  I start looking for god in the world, and what god’s up to.  Because that’s what’s special about the cracker and the juice.  Those things show that god is with us, right here, in these plates, in our hands, in our mouths, present among and within us.

So this week as I was looking for god, I noticed god was in a lot of places, and maybe not places that warrant a mention during communion, like in the sound of a bat hitting a baseball, or in hot coffee on a cold morning, or in the opening few bars of any AC/DC song.  So I took my thought experiment even farther and looked for places where maybe god wasn’t.

It was hard to imagine geography where god wouldn’t be.  I know there are those of you who could testify that god is clearly present in the quiet of a deer stand early in the morning when nothing seems to be moving, but clearly, something’s moving.  But surely there are people everywhere who feel the same about the jungle or desert or beach or tundra or city.  That if you listen, as god is often quiet, there is no question but that god is there.

And what about in all those people far away?  Here at home we know god is present in the relationships we have with our kids, our parents, our friends, our co-workers.  So god has to be present in the same relationships in places that are so different from what we know, places so foreign that many of us would never want to visit because, in the words of my late grandmother upon hearing we were visiting Ukraine in search of a son, “Why those people would just as soon shoot you as look at you.”  I know god’s in those places.  I’ve seen god myself in English pubs, Greek train stations, German youth hostels, and especially Ukrainian and Vietnamese orphanages.

What about those places, I continued to think, where not only don’t we want to go, but where our own state department tells us not to go, because people really do want to kill us, where in the meantime they kill each other.  I looked these up online by the way.  There’s a map of most of them in the back of your bibles.  Is god there?  In those places on the news, where bombed buildings fall in on children, where people are fighting and fleeing and struggling to maintain a standard of living that’s not as high as that of our pets.  Where’s god in all that?

And I don’t know.  It would be easy for me in my relative luxury and safety to say, I’m sure god is there working it all out in his own time, while children die and parents mourn.  Or that god’s not there because those people believe wrongly about religion or politics or something else.  But it’s hard for me to imagine a place where god’s not.  So my answer is what it always seems to be, what I always say.  God is there in the neighbors digging for the bodies of their friend’s children.  God is there in their mourning for their lost friends and family.  God is in those refugee camps, and with those aid workers.  And somehow god is with those people in power who make horrible decisions that result in dead families, but for the life of me I’m not really sure how.

And, as I always remind us, myself included, god is in the food we eat, not just the cracker and the juice, but in the food that powers our bodies, our hands and our feet, the only hands and feet god has, to do what god would have us do, to see that god’s will is done on earth, here at home, or abroad, in both peaceful places where we can hear god in the silent morning, and in horrible places where we can’t.

Amen