last night at church there was a lovely woman, maybe in her 60's, that made the commitment to follow after the heart of christ and she crowned this new life choice with baptism. i sat alone in the far transept of the building and watched in tender amazement the courage of this woman. her husband accompanied her to the front of the congregation, holding her hand every step of the way (he began following christ a litter earlier than she). i adored watching the husband support his wife - the joy that he carried and the respect he held for his bride was positively radiant. i was delicately overwhelmed.
in a similar fashion, the act of receiving communion stills me. as i gaze upon the line leading to the table of communion on sundays tears are sure to form in the pockets of my eyes. something full of wonder takes place when a community of people gather together to take the bread and the wine of christ.
there is an ancient jewish tradition of marriage proposals that is the foundation of my own receiving communion. when a man found a woman to whom he wished to betroth, he would construct a marriage covenant which he presented to the intended bride and her father. to see if the woman accepted the covenant, a glass of wine was poured for his beloved and he waited to see if she would take the cup and drink its proposal. if she did accept, the man would then leave her saying, "i am going to prepare a place for you. i will return for you when it is ready." while the man was preparing a room for them in his father's house, the bride was also preparing by making herself ready for his return, during this time she would wear a veil to show that she was spoken for. now that is romantic.
when i sit back and contemplate the collection of generations lining up to receive communion i meditate on the acceptance they are exuding to the marriage proposal of christ. with each hand takes the cup and drinks i can't help but cry. there is nothing more lovely than to witness such an outward expression of partnering as the bride of christ to our bridegroom.