Our son is preparing for his first communion. On May 20th, Samuel will come to the table with his friends Jeremy and Lydia, hold out his hands with anticipation, and receive the mystery and blessing of holy bread. It fills me with hope.
As I watch our children grow, I worry more than I’d like to admit. How will the world receive them? And what kind of world will it be? Will they develop healthy and life-giving relationships? For how long will I be blessed to walk this life on earth with them? I am tempted at times to try and write these fears off on my own. Breathe and let it go. Trust. But I am rarely, if ever, able to do this outside of community,
outside of ritual, outside of story and in-the-flesh reminders of God’s presence.
Every time Samuel gathers around the communion table, he will hear The Story. The story of creation, exile, liberation, prophecy, and kept promises. The story of flesh and divine spark unfolding together. Of inspiration, brokenness, and healing. In the short span of minutes, he will be reminded of a God who
loves and journeys with him and all of creation. I pray that he will feel he belongs in that Great Story. I hope.
Every time he gathers around the table, Samuel will be invited to “take and eat” what he needs for that moment. And he will witness every other being at the table being offered the same. Our daily bread. Manna. It is enough. I pray that he will feel satisfied. I pray that he will feel inspired to co-create a world where all can receive their daily bread. I hope.
Every time he gathers around the table, Samuel will remember Jesus. “Remember me washing the disciples’ feet. Remember me breaking bread and pouring wine. Remember my promise to be present in the shared feast. Remember me.” I pray that Samuel will remember Jesus’ presence with him. That he will discover in Jesus the call to live a life of generosity, truth, and love. I hope.
The Communion of Saints
Every time Samuel gathers around the table, he will do so in community. He will gather with “all the saints.” I pray that Samuel will experience the calm wisdom and strength of his spiritual ancestors who surround him. I pray that he will rest for a moment in the embrace of an in-the-flesh community that welcomes him and welcomes everyone. I hope.
As you prepare to come to the table with Lydia, Jeremy, and Samuel, what prayers and hopes do you bring?