A kingdom moment: at the rail with my grandson
(This post is about one of those occasional moments when, as I seek his kingdom, I experience a kingdom moment!)
When you’re a pastor, you don’t get to sit in the pew very often. My call means I am up front, in the chancel and in the pulpit, thinking about dozens of things other than worship. Like the sermon. Or the attendance. Or the temperature of the room. The faces I don’t recognize. Or those arriving late. Or those who aren’t there.
But when I recently visited my son and his family in Dallas, I got to worship at his church and I didn’t have to worry about any of those things. I sat in the pew with my wife, my granddaughter and grandson, and my son’s in-laws. Nothing to remember, nothing to worry about. Just an hour immersed in the means of grace.
After the offerings, my grandson made his way over to my side and my wife, said, “He wants to go to communion with you.” Now that is very cool. When the usher nodded to us, his small hand took mine and we made our way forward to the communion rail.
It was definitely a kingdom moment. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” Though his two-year-old mind wasn’t able to fully comprehend what was happening, I wondered what was going through his mind as we knelt together at the communion rail. What are they eating and drinking? Why can’t I have some? This is a special place. And that’s my dad up there!
In that moment, I wasn’t much different than him. I’m a child of God, too. I might understand more of what’s going on, but it’s still a mystery to me how my risen and ascended Lord can be physically here for me in some bread and wine. All I can do is take his word for it, and indulge in this moment of grace. This is a special place. And that’s my son, the pastor, giving his dad the sacrament and his son a blessing.
Times have changed. I never got to go to the rail until I had been confirmed as a teenager. My mom and dad usually communed separately, one staying behind to keep an eye on my brother and sister and I, not trusting us to sit there alone. They were wise.
The older I get and the more kneel at the altar, the more I understand what a powerful moment this is. In fact, I just want to stay there, like Peter and James and John on the mount of Transfiguration. But it all over in a moment, and we are back in our seats, resuming our wiggling, snacking, coloring, and whatever. But here I am, five days later, and that moment still sticks in my mind, brings a smile to my face and can never be taken from me.
If the little ones at the rail bring a smile to my face, can you imagine God’s smile?