I belong to a liturgical church.
Each week, we remind ourselves of the story that brings us together, and we share a meal. When the meal is ready, each of us gets up, walks to the front of the service to receive it, and returns to where we were sitting.
Sometimes we wait in line. Sometimes the line moves quickly.
When I return to my seat, I reflect on what is coming next and pray for the people I see at the front of the service.
Each person approaches the meal in their own way. Some people are especially reverent. Some are embarrassed by their children, or by their parents. Some people are afraid of doing something wrong, and some are moved to tears. For some, it is a habit they have developed over a lifetime. For others, it is something new and wonderful.
Some people are filled with joy, and some are overcome with regret and sorrow.
After we share the meal, when everyone who wants to has received, we prepare to go back out into our lives. By reminding ourselves of our story and sharing this meal, we strengthen ourselves for the work of finding the sacred in the everyday.
It is, in a way, like lining up to get off an airplane. We have been transported together, and we gather our belongings to go our separate ways. If our time together has done its work, we are not in the same place we were when we came together.
Some people are in a hurry, eager to face what comes next. Some linger as long as they can, listening to music or drinking coffee, trying to extend the journey.
Each of us, in our own ways, is renewed to love and serve. Each of us carries the strength of the story and the meal.
[Image by iowa_spirit_walker]