Devotion: What does it taste like?
This devotion was given by one of our sopranos, Sarah Bane, prior to rehearsal on November 3, 2015.
About a month ago, one of the pastors at the church I work at asked if I'd help him with the First Communion class we offer on a monthly basis for the young ones in our congregation who are ready to start partaking in the Lord's Supper. I'd never helped with a First Communion class, and before saying "yes" I probably should have asked more questions. Thinking I'd take notes on a white board, help act out the story of Jesus, and in general just be a support to the pastor, I instead learned right before the class started that I was to take a group of 1st through 3rd graders to our chapel, by myself, to teach them about this holy sacrament. Yikes!
Rising to the occasion like the good little people-pleaser I am, I mustered as much confidence as I could, channeled my somewhat rusty Small Catechism knowledge and told those sweet little ones that in the Lord's Supper we receive the wonderful gift of God's love and presence for us. We talked about what a sacrament is, how we eat our special meal at our church, and that each church's special meal can look a little different from church-to-church. We talked about what it feels like to receive an important gift and practiced putting our hands out together in readiness to receive the body and blood of our Lord. I am so used to attitude ridden middle-schoolers as a youth director, that the two hugs and numerous thank-yous I received after the class caught me completely off guard and brought tears to my eyes.
But more than experiencing that foreign and refreshing feeling of being appreciated, the thing that has continued to play through my mind from that night was the portion of the evening when I handed things over to the children. They each grabbed a dry erase marker and took to the white board with their questions about the Lord's Supper, which I later attempted to field to the best of my abilities. Questions ranged from: "Do I have to drink the wine," to, "How do we know that Jesus is really in the bread and in the wine?" But the one that has stuck on my heart since that night was asked by a small but mighty first grade girl, who wrote: "What does it taste like?" So simple, so innocent, so profound.
Her question really resonated with me. She articulated a deeply rooted anxiety of the human condition that I'd venture to say many of us have wrestled with in expressing her fear of the unknown: What does it taste like? Who else might be asking that same question this Friday night at our All Saints concert? The elderly woman who just lost her partner in life and wonders what the future will be like without her love? The man grappling with the reality of his own impending mortality? Or perhaps, the young child wondering if she really will see her grandpa again in heaven someday?
This Friday, as we take time to sit within the tension of our fears and anxieties, may all who experience our concert find comfort and hope in knowing that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we can hold onto this assurance, that: "Blessed are those who weep, for they will laugh."
All knowing God, give us enough faith as we struggle with the unknown. Help us to rejoice and leap for joy this day and sing! We pray that as we await the promise of your kingdom we may get glimpses of its sweet taste. Amen.