Okay, you may remember that I rewatched and bitched about “The Fellowship of the Ring” a month or so ago. Because I’m an obsessive, obsessive Tolkien fangirl, with a moderate Elvish vocabulary. Just…deal with it.
Anyway, we loaded up “The Return of the King” last night.
I cannot help but stare, admiringly, every Sunday. Its something beautiful, something I’ve seen in films and photographs. I come a little closer every time I walk into the church. The women wear vibrant colors and clashing patterns, wrapping their hair in scarves so distinctly. Like adornments twisted atop their heads. Crowns. They have an elegance that is unmistakably not American. The men in their suits with children perched between them listen quietly. I know not all of them speak English. There was a boy sitting a few rows ahead of me at church this morning. He was one of many African immigrants. I noticed him initially because of his enthusiasm. Rising before everyone else with a huge grin on his face to sing. He wore a bright red soccer jersey and looked to be 15 or so. The pastor was speaking of how God places communities of believers together. How if we could choose, we would have everyone like ourselves. Its easier that way. But God knows better than to let us decide who can be in His family. He works on us through those around us. We are a body.
This immediately brought to my mind Romans 12:
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
The service continued. We sang, we listened. And communion was served. I was watching the elders bringing the elements to the ends of the pews. Watching each individual whisper “This is Christs body…broken for you.” to the person beside them. Each serving his or her neighbor. When the plate came to the boy, I noticed that there was an older boy, perhaps his brother, next to him. The younger took communion, grinning wide, and I then watched him place a wafer up to the lips of his brother, who also had the widest smile shining across his face. He had no hands to hold that little cracker, no arms to hold the plate. But his brother did. In that poignant moment, I knew… “This is my body…broken for you.” meant the world to that young man. As his brother was his arms, serving joyously, I watched the lady whisper “This is the blood of Christ, shed for you.” to them, and the beams of light that came from their faces melted every shred of doubt as to what the Body should act like. End of service came, and I was choking back the tears that threatened to unleash themselves upon the congregation. I had to get home as fast as possible so I could share with Joseph. We all rose to sing, and with the benediction, we were sent out. I did not think that I could see a more piercing vision of love. But then the boy in the red shirt lifted his brother from the pew and carried him out. He neither had arms nor legs, for himself, but his brother did. So they went out together.