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My Heart Beats “Fast”-er

I love to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and if it were up to me, we would celebrate it every week. I think that communion, on its own, is transformative. Now, I’m a good, classically trained, Reformed girl. However, I believe that communion is just as important as the preaching of the word; the Spirit is at work in both. Because of its transformational nature, I look forward to communion on the occasion that it comes around[1]. The last time we celebrated communion was especially meaningful.

It was the first Sunday of Lent and I had been fasting for 5 days. After 5 days of fasting, I still feel hunger pains and still must depend heavily on God for strength.
Despite planning the service, I had forgotten about communion and what that would mean for my fasting body. As I squished the bread between my thumb and index finger, a couple of brief thoughts pushed themselves into my head: “Should I eat this?” and “I’m fasting; am I allowed to eat this?”.
Then, before those abrasive thoughts could continue, I heard the chorus come through my monitor: “Take, eat, remember, and believe”.
And I ate.
As I placed the bread into my mouth and began chewing, it wasn’t as if I was chewing a dry piece of bread that had been sitting out on the communion table since the night before; it was as if I was eating the only meal I would ever need.
After I swallowed those few calories, I felt them take up space in my stomach. I felt like I was the fullest that I had ever been. The Psalm 23:5[2] kind of full; so full of desperation that I could taste it. The physical hunger pains had been pushed out by the spiritual desperation pains that I felt deep in my heart for the presence God.
As my soul cried out to my Father, the realization set in.
I had to get back to work. For the first time since I started planning services, I was going to sing a solo during the passing of the cup.
With tear stained cheeks, I began playing chords in the wrong rhythm.
With my heart beating faster than the rhythm of my movements, I started over.
I made a lot more mistakes, but I sang.
My voice wavered, but I sang.
I sang, “We Will Feast in the House of Zion”[3].
Just allowing the word “feast” to escape from my lips, sent a wave of hope down my spine. The kind of hope that would not end; the book of Revelation kind of hope. I believed in that moment every word that I was singing to the fullest sense of each word. I believed that the troubles of this life would end and I was taking hold of the promise that “we will feast and weep no more”.
By the time the elders were making their way up the isle with the leftover grape-juice-filled-cups, I was shaking, almost violently and weeping. But not the John 11[4] type of weeping. I was weeping because in that moment, while I sang, my desperation was turned to hope. The deepest desperation that I had ever felt in a church service was met by the fullest sense of hope. Completely unable to control myself, I let my tears bathe E4 and A4[5].
I was awakened from my trance only when I heard the pastors starting to give their cup-speech. I startled, then bent down to pick up the communion cup that one of the elders placed at my feet while I was singing.
I let the grape juice trace my esophagus on the way down; I relished in the sweetness that filled my mouth and the hope that filled my soul.

This moment was near perfect and I do believe that there will be a day when we will feast and when our troubles will be over. I just hope that when that day comes, and my joy is complete, that I will be able to weep in the presence of my Holy Father. Weep not out of sadness or regret, but out of thankfulness and love.

Blessings,
Gabby

[1] At the church where I work, we have been celebrating communion about once every two months. The worship team recently petitioned the council to move the frequency of communion up to once a month. This gradual change will happen over the course of about a year.

[2] From the NIV: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

[3] By Sandra McCracken: https://sandramccracken.bandcamp.com/track/we-will-feast-in-the-house-of-zion

[4] After the death of Lazarus, in grief, Jesus wept.

[5] For you none-musician types, these are the names of notes on the keyboard.

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