There is something magical, something unexplainable, something Divine, that happens at the Eucharist. There is a mystery that exists beyond words when bread and wine are blessed, and God’s people are gathered. And, every Sunday, I get to be a part of that mystery.
At St. Peter’s, there is a beautiful tradition of using freshly baked, homemade bread for the Eucharist. This is offered by a parishioner, as his ministry – I can only imagine the time he must get up, the discipline and commitment it takes to do something every week, for months and years on end. I am grateful for this gift.
Every week, I help Pastor Diane to distribute the bread. I sink my fingers into the warm, soft bread, and tear off chunks (trying hard not to make them too big or too small), lift up the piece of bread and place it in the hands cupped before me, saying, “The body of Christ, the bread of heaven”.
Sometimes, I look directly into people’s eyes. Sometimes they are searching my face for meaning, or smiling, or wanting to tell me they need a wafer or gluten free instead. Sometimes, their heads are down, deep in prayer. Sometimes, hands stay open after I place the bread – sometimes they close around this small pice of heaven on earth.
This Sunday, as I was moving from the end of the altar rail back to the beginning, I glanced up, and to the left. I saw, briefly, that an elder was coming up to the rail – and I saw another parishioner hold out her hand, with a smile on her face, beckoning to the space next to her, and inviting this kupuna up.
It was beautiful, and magical, and deeply moving. It, too, was a piece of heaven on earth.