My goodness wasn't Sunday night fun? I struggle to find words to describe how transcendent and beautiful it was to be a part of witnessing four of our own be baptized to life in Christ. I sat with tears streaming down my face as we confessed our faith in the words of the Nicene Creed and watched as our friends came up out of the baptismal waters looking startled and surprised while the rest of us couldn't stop cheering. Then in a funny moment I found myself thinking...Wait, Jesus, we actually believe all of this!
Sure, many of us have questions and unfathomable wounds. Many of us have been disillusioned with it all. Many of us find communal life frustrating at best and surrender to the way of Jesus nearly impossible. Many of us would describe our experience of faith as "not at all what I expected." And many of us would say there are these moments in the life of the triune God that are just wildly joyous and full of immense love. Welcome to the Church... we're all here, singing and praying and saying little words to try and describe a God who is wildly beyond us and eating the body and blood of a guy who lived 2,000 years ago and dunking people in water and screaming when they come up and praying for people to be healed and asking the Spirit to do more. WHAT. IS. THIS.
Andrew's charge to us to ask ourselves why we are a part of this community is the right one, even though it is excruciating at times. Part of the reason I couldn't stop crying Sunday night was because I found it so poignant that I had to look across the circle, through the communion table, to see you all. Through bread and wine I saw your faces and heard many of your stories of hurt and hope. Through bread and wine I saw your faces and wondered what your names were and how you ended up in a dark basement in Denver, Colorado on a February evening. Through bread and wine, I watched as you all looked upon the baptized with glee in your hearts. Through bread and wine we sang and prayed together, an odd collection of strangers and former strangers (as Andrew called us) who have no business being together except for this God whom we know through Christ. To bread and wine we came, some of us still dripping with water.
So what is this? It is Jesus and life in him. Why are we here? Jesus and life in him. And will we each ask ourselves how we can give ourselves in service to this community? I sure hope so, because somehow when we start believing this stuff together something beautiful happens; and I get the sense that moments like Sunday night are only a window into something holy and right and good. So, in whatever ways possible, let us serve the life of this community God has given us and watch as he continues to raise it to life.