Last Sunday morning I had the privilege of standing side by side with my husband to offer bread and wine to our church family. I watched as they made their way toward the altar. A solemn, slow, reverent procession. Some looked at me and smiled, but most bowed their heads, respecting the mystery of the moment.
And then the children came. There was no stopping them. They almost ran down the aisle, eager to receive. I laughed as one little girl grabbed her bread and plunged it deep into the cup of juice, her chubby little fingers disappearing under purple. The cup overflowed. But she held on tight to the bread. It emerged, dripping and sodden, and she devoured it like candy.
And then there were the brothers. They came trotting down the aisle, smiling, holding hands with their dad. They reached with outstretched hands as I bent down with the plate of bread. And they grinned and looked me straight in the eye. I smiled, intrigued by a glimpse of red and silver, sparkling on the younger brother's shirt. What was that? This little guy was proudly wearing two shiny bows...the kind we might use to denote a precious gift.
And I wonder how different my experience of communion would be if I were to approach it like a child-
With outstretched hands; eager to receive; expecting my cup to overflow; ready not just to be a taker, but a giver.
To offer myself, at the altar, as a gift.