Monday, February 25, 2008

babies, church, and Good News

See Joe's post here.

It was such a privilege to participate in Joshua's dedication, and to pledge along with everyone else that we, CCfB, with God's help, will be Joshua's church family and nurture him as he grows in maturity and faith.

And as others have done before me (I remember a moving Communion meditation from a couple of years ago from Erin), the language of family was uppermost in my mind as I pondered the meaning of Communion this week:

When we take the time each Sunday to celebrate Communion, we recreate
together the night when Jesus first sat at the table with his disciples, and
broke the bread and drank the wine with them in the intimacy of a family eating
dinner together. These men and women who followed Jesus, learned from him,
ate and drank and talked and laughed with him, who left their homes and all that
they had out of loyalty and love for him, were his family. Jesus has said
so; earlier, when he’s told his mother and brothers want to see him; he looks
around at the people who have chosen to gather around him and says, this is my
family. Today we honor Trish and Ehi and the new family they have created,
by choosing each other and choosing this child, Joshua; at the same time, we
affirm that we are also family, all of us in this room, and promise to be that
family for Trish and Ehi. We have done this many times now; for Jasper,
for Ira, for Clare, for Annalise, and now we are privileged to do so again for
baby Joshua. This is the reality of what it means to be a church. It
is the family of God, and it is no coincidence that Paul calls us brothers and
sisters in Christ, and adopted children of God the Father. This language
of family is not casual. The language of family extends even to our
language for God. When we call God Father, especially as we prepare to
share in this meal together, we also call Jesus the Son. And when we
consider what it means that God the Father would call Jesus the Son to the
awesome responsibility of teaching and leading, and ultimately dying for and
rising up to new life again, for the sake of us—his adopted brothers and
sister—we see that the metaphor of family defines not just how we relate to each
other…but how God has chosen to relate to us.

Jesus looked around
at his family and said, “Take and eat; this is my body, broken for you.”
And he said, “Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new
covenant. Do this for the remembrance of me.” As we do this together
today, we remember and recreate and affirm those acts of sacrificial parental
love, of God the Father, and Jesus the Son of God, which make us all brothers
and sisters and children of God.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

that was a beautiful communion meditation. i was sorry to miss it in person; thanks so much for sharing it here.