Boy, was I hungry!

I returned to church today after being away for a week and a half.  I–like many pastors–take the Sunday after Christmas off.  It was great to spend time with family and to rest a little from the Christmas Eve madness, I mean, joy.  🙂

Getting out of the house this morning was hard.  The bed was warm.  The coffee smelled good.  The sky was dark.  The first Sunday after a Sunday away is always difficult.  Getting back into the Sunday morning routine–arduous.  “Maybe they won’t miss me if I’m not there,” I said to Allen.  He snorted and left the room.  Traitor.

Arriving at church…yeah.  That was hard, too.  A little less hard because there were things to do…put my worship notebook together, write a prayer, figure out which color stole to wear.  (On mornings like this one, that last task can take a while.)  But still…  It’s hard to be working when even the sun is sleeping in.  Somewhere during the great stole color debate, I think I dozed a little…and began dreaming about the bodacious nap I’d be taking this afternoon.

THEN…the people started arriving.  I couldn’t help myself…I hugged all the ones who would slow down long enough for me to catch them.  During announcement time at the start of the 8;30 service, I was even a little giddy.  I just couldn’t believe how much I’d missed these people!  And how much I loved them.

Then we got to communion.  In truth, I hadn’t thought much about the Holy Meal in the midst of finishing off all those holiday meals.  But when we gathered around the table this morning….when Lois served me the bread and juice….when I dipped the bread in the juice then put it in my mouth…It tasted so good!  And I realized in that moment just how hungry I was.  Allen and I had made our usual run through the McDonald’s drive-thru a bit earlier, so it wasn’t that kind of hungry.  It was the kind of hungry that feeds me spiritually and relationally….a hunger that only gets filled around that table with those people at that time (8:30) every week.  Remembering Jesus, taking those memories into the center of my being–both figuratively and literally, and doing so with that community of friends?  It has become not nice, not special….  Sharing communion with those folks has become necessary to my spiritual well-being.  And what a joyful necessity it has become!

I’ve heard it said that in some cultures the greatest compliment to a terrific meal is a hearty belch.  Today I offer a loud, resonant, holy belch…because that was one terrific meal!

Thanks be to God!


About reallifepastor

I'm a pastor who's working out her faith...just like everyone else.
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