Joined In Discipleship
We began a journey in the season of Advent where we considered what gift we could bring to the Christ Child. Ultimately we realized that the only gift appropriate to give, this special Son of God, is the gift of ourselves: our whole selves. All that we are, and all that we hope to be is the greatest gift we can give to Christ. So, as a symbol of that gift, we each brought forth a scrap of fabric, ribbon, rope or yarn, something to represent ourselves as a gift to Christ. We laid these at the foot of the manger on Christmas Eve as we celebrated His Holy birth.
Throughout the season of Epiphany we watched as this gift of 'ourselves' became a tangled mass of pieces of everyone. Isn't that just how life goes? Our best intentions sometimes goes awry and all that we wanted to be, somehow, gets flung off course. So we gathered on Ash Wednesday to worship and remember Christ's 40 Day trek into the wilderness where he faced temptations beyond measure before entering into His important ministry. At this service we wrote our sins, or transgressions down on a piece of paper and burned them as we took a strip of fabric/ribbon/rope/yarn home with us as a prayer focus for the season of Lent. We remembered our original intent and spent reflective time working to reorient ourselves to following Christ...all the way to the cross.
On Maundy Thursday we gathered to celebrate Christ's Last Supper with the Disciples. The word 'Maundy' means 'command.' This last meal that Christ shared with his friends was where he commanded them to love one another and gave the example of serving others. For it is out of our great love for Christ that we serve others. We see Christ in them. We shared the communion meal with each other by first handing off our 'prayer fabric' and declaring our love for Christ and our willingness to serve others in His name. Then we served the body of Christ (bread) and cup of Christ's blessings (juice) to our friend/neighbor/stranger who stood in line beside us.
On Good Friday we gathered for worship, again, to remember the last hours of Jesus' life. To reflect on all He suffered through on humanity's behalf. At the end of our time together, we brought our 'prayer cloths,' which represented: our giving of ourselves to Christ, the ways in which we get tangled up in the events of life and fail to give ourselves fully, our continuous efforts to follow Christ, and our willingness to serve others out of our love for Christ, to the Cross and left them hanging there...knowing that because of Christ's suffering and death, the burdens of our sins and failings are forgiven.
On Easter Sunday we celebrated God's greatest accomplishment, the resurrection of Christ! An empty tomb is humanity's great hope. Sin and death, darkness and evil, will not rule this world or the next, for God will always overcome and the Light of Christ will never be extinguished. All our pieces of fabric/ribbon/yarn/rope were woven into one beautiful tapestry filled with all the varieties of who we are as people of God. It was stitched along the outside edge with gold thread to represent God holding us together as a community of love, no matter our differences, our shortcomings, our abrupt endings or our rough edges. Together, we are a beautiful part of God's family of families.
On Pentecost Sunday we will worship and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and experience the story, once again, of that great day when the church was formed. When all who were there heard the Good News of Jesus Christ in their own languages, and thousands were baptized and brought into the community. At this special service all those who were not able to add their pieces of fabric to the tapestry will have an opportunity to bring one forward and it will be woven in as we worship together as a special community of faith.
I hope you will consider joining us in the beauty of what it is to be a part of a community of faith, committed to loving and serving others out of our great love for Christ. All are welcome here!