If you know me, you know that one of my favorite parts of church is the celebration of Communion. In my tradition, we take Communion every week as part of our regular worship service. And for many years (more than a decade), I have had the honor of offering devotionals for our gathering around the table.
For years, I have been asked if I have compiled a collection of my Communion devotionals anywhere, and the answer to that is, "No." No, I haven't. Not because I don't think it's valuable or because I don't want to share, but because of the process by which I have come up with every word I have spoken.
When I speak about the Table, what I speak is authentic. It's raw. It's not scripted. Generally, long before I am invited to the front of the service, I have had a spark of a thought about this sacrament we partake in, and I have planted it in my heart like a seed. I have let it grow there for any period of time, from a matter of hours to a matter of weeks, and when it is ripe, I will pluck it and offer it to my brothers and sisters as an invitation to dine with Jesus. So every time I have spoken, I have spoken from the heart and spoken from what I personally have needed to hear or to reflect on.
To have written these down beforehand would have lessened what I would say in the moment. It would make me feel the burden of craftedness, of scriptedness, and I think it would have introduced for me a sense of pressure, then guilt - pressure to get it right and guilt/regret if I failed to recall something I had been particularly struck by in my writing.
And afterward, it feels almost forced, like that moment has passed. I have already harvested that seed, and it feels old already, even in a matter of hours. It truly belonged to that breath, to that moment, and once that bread has been broken, I have already moved on to the next seed.
It's a running joke among some of the elders and leaders in my church that I always "have one in my pocket," and that's almost true - I always have one in my heart. I always have at least one seed that I have planted, that I'm watering, that I'm letting grow.
But it's been a long time. Due to my long-term absence from my church family (medical reasons), it's been awhile since I have been able to share a devotional, and it's been even longer since I have been able to gather around this table. And...I miss it.
So I thought that this year (as long as I can remember, I suppose), I would like to take Fridays on this page to share some Table devotionals. Some that I have spoken before and some that have been planted for awhile, but never harvested. I want to use this space to invite you to dine with Jesus, to break the bread, to drink the cup, to celebrate in remembrance this table.
Because I miss it. Not the speaking; the fellowship. I miss our time together. I miss our common meal.
And maybe, just maybe, this also serves as that collection that many have been asking me about. By the end of the year, there should be roughly 50 or so of these moments together, and that's at least a good start.
So will you join me on Fridays this year for Supper?