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Serving at the Table

Today, I visited a church where I will be doing an internship of sorts this summer. It’s a totally different setting from other churches where I have worked and so today I just went to observe and listen and to pay attention to what goes on there.

I have to admit, I wandered in my mind during parts of the service. Over the past couple of months, I have been wrestling with God about calling and ministry. God has heard some pretty angry words from my heart. As I realized some of the potential in this space, I started to get excited. Now, usually that would be a good thing. But I was frustrated as I want to run from ministry these days. I’ve been reflecting on my experiences lately, trying to glean lessons from them, especially as I embark on projects. And a recent ‘aha’ moment enlightened why I am so reluctant to get involved again in leadership. My most “successful” week in which God daily added to our numbers and conversations with children, youth and their families went pretty deep – was also an experience where I felt utterly and completely alone and void of comfort. I won’t go into all the details of what happened that week, but there is a side of the story that doesn’t get told in the joyful celebration of what God did. And believe me, it was amazing and I am blessed to have been a part of that experience. But that deep sense of alone-ness haunts me. Is this what it means to be successful in kingdom work? As I’ve presented this question to God over the past few months, I’ve followed it up with – if it is, then no thanks! I have contemplated, once again, if I should just quit school and get a real job. Data entry. something like that.

And then, unexpectedly, the priest needed someone to serve the chalice and asked me. And I held the cup and looked into each person’s eyes saying “The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation”. I have no words to describe this experience. There was something profound and beautiful at being able to share in this sacred moment with other Christians. To remind in words and actions that Christ died for their salvation, that the blood of Christ was poured out for them as this cup of wine was given to them. It was a holy moment. A beautiful moment.

And as I served at the table – I found myself saying yes.

yes to serving. even if it is hard. even if it is lonely.

yes to walking with people, in their brokenness and in their joy.

yes to serving the cup of salvation and reminding others that Christ died for them.

Interestingly, as I’ve been reading about the priesthood and talking to God about my calling, one thing I have said to God is that I have never felt a call to serve at the table. I feel a call to write, to preach, to counsel, to lead, to disciple. But not to serve at the Lord’s table. I could see myself doing it, but never felt called.

Today, I felt called. And it’s a beautiful thing.

  1. john sullivan
    February 17, 2014 at 5:11 am


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