The Communion Fly

In what is an attempt to avoid getting on with what I’m really supposed to be doing, I thought I might return briefly to blogging for 10 minutes.   It’s Saturday night, I’m sure you can guess what I’m supposed to be doing…

Last Sunday saw my third celebration of communion in this place.   At some point at one of the previous celebrations, someone had mentioned that every communion a fly puts in its appearance at the Communion Table.   It can only have been someone sitting either on my left or my right on one of these occasions, as I can’t imagine that anyone else would notice this detail given how far away from the table most people are.

The kind helpful person had mentioned that often at communion a fly seems to appear out of nowhere.   Weeks and months go by and no fly is seem within the sanctuary and yet on Communion Sunday it suddenly appeared and hovered near the bread and wine.

The last couple of occasions must have been more tense, as I can’t say I noticed a fly hovering around the table.   Instead I suspect that concentration levels were set up “let’s get to the end” setting, where all that happens is a focus on the process and practice and knowing that the wine must not be knocked over (yes, I have.)   On those kinds of days I notice nothing, although potentially that is most Sundays as once I’ve moved into worship the concentration shuts out many things – although I do notice my own children behaving badly and people suddenly falling or sitting down.

If the Communion fly put in appearance at the first service last week, I can’t say I noticed.

However it was definitely there at the second service, and I found myself having to control the giggles.   Where would it land?   Who would notice?   Was it planning a swim?   What were the consequences of sharing the sacrament with a fly – practically and theologically?

The best moments in church are often those moments when we suddenly relax and forget the pomposity of the liturgy and instead find ourselves engaged in the moment.   I will be forever grateful for those fun moments of being a church community, because suddenly everyone catches the humour and joke of the moment and discovers that sharing faith is fun.   Like singing the “Old Rugged Cross” having only heard the story of the Miners’ Club where someone had got up to sing confidently, and started “On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross..”   Paused… And then finished …”where the deer and the antelope play”.   Or the choir that persuaded their minister to fit some words into the service, and was astounded to find that “broccoli” worked well in the “Time to Talk”, while “antidisestablishmentarianism” wasn’t quite so helpful.

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Celebrating Season

Tonight I am very full of food, and contemplating a day of light meals tomorrow. I’m not complaining, as it has been good to spend time with friends and family, catching up on their lives.

Lunch today was particularly enjoyable, not just because our children were not with us and therefore there was no little bored voice asking when we might be going home repetitively. Instead we joined a congregational couple as they celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary.

Those who were there were in the main were people who were associated with the congregation, either today or in the past. The couple themselves are both elders, and it was good to be part of something that gave a clear indication of how the church and their faith have been an important part of who they are individually and as a couple.

Today was very much a day of celebration, but a celebration of all that their married life has asked them to encounter, and in amongst the joy there were tinges of more difficult times. The generosity of today was not just the food and hospitality, but also about being invited to recognise that true celebration of life can only happen when we embrace the lows along with the highs and the ordinariness.

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