God yearns to bless his people.
It was communion Sunday today at Holy Cross. It is always a reminder to me about how God moves toward me. He offers Himself in a fresh way each time. Sometimes I struggle with His embrace as I either feel far, distracted, unworthy, skeptical or some combination of these things. Other times, I am totally overwhelmed by His presence.
Today, being All Saints Day, everything was geared toward remembering those who have gone ahead of us in joining the church triumphant. I was struck again with how my name should have been on the list last year as I suffered a stroke in May 2014. But it wasn’t, and here is another year with me still here in the church militant. So, I started looking around at the others in worship, some raising hands, and some shouting praises with great big smiles on their faces. I know some of their stories and that made their worship even more rich and meaningful for me to watch. I was sitting in the back where I could indulge my peculiar voyeurism. I was caught up in the worship and the message so I took my shoes off, this was indeed holy ground.
Before our turn came to walk forward for communion, I noticed that one little boy almost missed it. He had been at the restroom or drinking fountain and when he returned his family was already up front receiving the Body and the Blood. I’ll call him Richard. Richard is too young for communion at our church so he would have received a special blessing instead. In a moment I saw an exchange of looks between Richard and his dad that seemed to say “What do I do daddy?” The replied look came from his dad and the pastor who had paused. It came from both simultaneously, “come on up and receive what our Father has for you.” Richard did not walk up reverently, he ran. There was no social awkwardness for him, his Daddy had a blessing and he was not going to miss it. It was beautiful and in it God said to me that this is exactly how He wishes my heart to behave toward Him. It was more than that though. In that moment He transformed my heart from a ritual bound slave to one of an expectant child just looking for Daddy’s embrace.
Then as our turn came and we began to walk forward I noticed a teen in front of me walking forward with her hands raised in song. Tears came as I saw God’s faithfulness to His prized daughter. I know this one’s story well and seeing her heart expressed through and in spite of dark places was awe-inspiring. I got closer and another man in front of me was being helped with the same color Posey belt that Jen helped me with after my stroke. He was stumbling a bit and God said to me, this is your own stumbling too. I think that my own darkness and stumbling is unique, it’s not. Maybe you make that same mistake.
To have a heart that desires my Father’s presence and is willing to ignore the embarrassment of cultural norms or tradition, this will require nurture. For a child it may just take the nod of his dad. For me, as an adult, there are years of reservedness that has trained me not to be captured by the whims of my heart. In some ways this serves me well but when my Father calls, it makes it difficult to respond like Richard. But this is what Communion is about.
My Father is calling me up for a blessing. He doesn’t want me to miss it. He wants my whole heart with no reservations. I cannot come to Him and hold onto my dignity. This offering is sacred, but it is not given because I am dignified, it is given because I am in need. I hope I can remember to always run to Him even in the dark and stumbling places where I find myself.
Copyright Dave Brukiewa
Dave is a husband and father of three beautiful girls. He has lived in Colorado Springs since 2000 and attended Holy Cross since 2006. His passion is to see men of God draw closer to the Father and bring their families with them.