Tonight I had the privilege of celebrating the Eucharist on the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. As I participated in this sacred and timeless prayer I was once again humbled at the gift of being able to do so.
The day started with a question by a colleague of what encourages me about my church or denomination. I have to be honest that it took me a while to come up with an answer. We have been torn asunder by conflict and politics. We have argued heatedly about how to spend “our” money. I have been ashamed at times by my actions and those of my brothers and sisters in Christ about the poor witness we are to God’s love story.
I answered the question, yet as the day went on it was much like a piece of sand stuck in my shoe. It was just enough to remind me I needed to do something with it, but not quite irritating enough to handle immediately.
As I stood at the altar tonight it hit me. I am encouraged that all these years later God looks past what is on the outside and sees the heart. God loves and uses broken people to build God’s kingdom. God doesn’t see failure but rather a chance for a new beginning. Even when we turn away, God continues to seek.
As I prayed the words of that beautiful prayer I was also reminded that this journey must be done in community. It was in the love and support of family, friends, strangers, and mentors that I am able to share those words with this part of God’s family. As I invited others to take part in this sacred ministry a glimpse of those who walked the journey with me flashed through my mind. Each of those faces Christ to me along the way.
And as I shared the body and blood of Christ I saw Christ looking back at me and I was brought to me knees.