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January 12, 2004
A moment so lovely I want to comment on it right then and there. I don't, though -- we're in the middle of administering communion. But it is lovely, the two voices twining in and out around each other like ribbons of the old words:

"The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee....The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee...preserve thy body and soul ...preserve thy body and soul...take and eat this...everlasting life...feed on Him in thy heart...drink this in remembrance...with thanksgiving...and be thankful."

Long, mysterious sentences with archaic cadence, phrases from centuries long past, pronouns not used today, "thee" and "thy." Words that flow slowly and uneventfully into the ears and hearts of some into whose crossed hands I put the thin round wafer of white, or that catch the attention of others unexpectedly: "Preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life." Everlasting life? Am I being preserved? Kept safe for that life right now, at this moment, with this bread?"

Worship can be as deep or as superficial as we make it. There is a place for the superficial in a person's devotional life: those moments when depth eludes us, when we skitter from thought to thought like a bug over the water. At those times, we have done well just to show up. We shouldn't be too hard on ourselves.

Because there will be other times. Times like my moment of awe yesterday morning. Times when words are luminous, familiar objects transformed. Times when time itself stands still. "The body...the blood...take and eat this...drink this...and be thankful." For a moment, I thought we might never have to leave the sanctuary. That we might just stay there.

In a way, I am there still.
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