Today is Maundy Thursday. In my congregation, we worship together on this night and read the passage from John 13 where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. We sing hymns and share the Lord’s Supper.
Tonight, I sat in the front row of the sanctuary because I was the liturgist for the worship service. A little girl who comes to our after school program and often shares meals and worships with us sat next to me.
There was something about sitting next to her in a communion service that may forever alter the way I take communion.
She walked into the sanctuary and was constantly aware that there was bread on the table. She gestured at it with exclamation when she sat down.
During the first hymn, she leaned forward and studied it.
While the pastor read from the Bible, she followed along with me in my Bible, pointing at the table as the table was mentioned in Scripture.
Throughout the service she would look at me pointedly and then indicate the bread on the table, with a questioning look on her face. I would show her where we currently were in the bulletin and then point to the word “communion.”
As the pastor preached, he talked about the Bread and the Cup and she made a fanfare gesture with her arms. It was my turn to look at her inquisitively. “I just want to make sure everyone knows what he’s talking about,” she assured me.
As the pastor moved to the table, she stood to her feet and all but took a starter’s position, ready to race to the table as soon as she got the go ahead. She shifted anxiously on her feet as Rich read and prayed and broke and elevated the elements.
When he invited people forward, she was standing toe to toe with him before he even finished the sentence, looking up at him, waiting for him to share the bread with her.
Some in the sanctuary tonight might think that my young friend does not have the proper regard or understanding of the Lord’s Supper.
I think she might understand it better than the rest of us do.