I just received a piece of mail which made me cry. On the surface it was a simple letter from a dear friend from church. I am part of a ministry at church which she leads – Lay Eucharistic Ministers. She wrote a cover letter and slipped it into the envelope with our new schedule. There was something in the way she closed her letter to us that was so real . . . a blessing to us all and the words “I love you.” How often do we seek love yet not find it? Oh, I’m not saying it isn’t being offered to us, but I for one can be caught up in my “stuff” and not “feel” it even though I really do “know better.”
I am so totally in love with Jesus and church has always been a key part of my life, but one Sunday afternoon a friend and I were chatting after services and I followed her to the altar as she took care of the linens and things and at one point I couldn’t hear here speaking because I suddenly truly felt blown over by the feeling that I was on “holy ground” as I stood behind the altar. I started to shake and my eyes burned with choked back tears. As my friend took the chalice to be washed for the next Mass, I instantly knew there was a ministry for me. The one which suddenly seemed to call me was Lay Eucharistic Minister.
The next chance I got I asked to be permitted to joint and was licensed and trained. This grace filled position means that I administer Jesus’ precious blood to communicants during the Holy Eucharist. There is not a single time I serve near the altar when I do not shake and choke back tears. But there is also not a single time I serve the Lord in this way in which I am so in awe of the Holy Ground on which I stand that as I serve Him and my fellow worshippers, I cannot help but smile. It doesn’t matter what challenges I’m facing nor whether the sun is shining or not. The minute that chalice is in my hands, I am so filled with the presence of my King, my precious Lord, that I can’t keep from smiling and have to fight not to break out in song and dance to Him.
That being said, I realize that even on the Sunday’s when I’m not scheduled to serve, I can’t help but fix my eyes on the cross at the altar and my priests hands as they become vessels to consecrate that bread and wine to be Jesus’ body and blood.
The special relationship I have with my Lord rises above anything else in my life and so as I reflected on this in my quiet time just now after reading the letter from my Sister in Christ, I found myself reflecting on the cross and all it means. So, I now begin a new series called “reflecting on the cross. Today along with this testimony, I offer you the photograph at the top of this post taken in the room I sit in as I write this. I call this image by the same name I’ve given to this series. I ask the Lord’s blessing on each one of you . . . you have no idea how much of a blessing you are to me.