“Wait for Each Other” from The Rev. Kaji Douša

September 15th,2022 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dearly Beloved,

I pray that this newsletter reaches you in health and wellness!

My prayers of gratitude and intercession continue for you all as we pray for God’s intervention in the space between where we are and where we are truly well. May you experience God’s grace in all the places you need healing and wellness, knowing that God intends this for you!

I also continue in gratitude for Rev. Stephanie and church leadership’s support as I continue my time of [postponed] summer sabbath this month. You are all amazing!

For this week & next week’s reflections, I thought we might return to Rev. Mary Luti’s beautiful writing on Communion (see below). Enjoy her gorgeous words, and may they deepen your worship experience as you come together at God’s table.

I look forward to seeing you all at the beginning of September!

Pax Christi,
Pastor Kaji

Scripture: John 16:16-20 (Year W):

16 [Jesus said,] “A little while, and you all will not see me, and another little while, and you all will see me.” 17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does this mean that he is saying to us, ‘A little while, and you all will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Creator’?” 18 They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you all discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you all will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you all will see me’? 20 Very truly, I tell you all that you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you all will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.

Wait for Each Other

by Mary Luti

“When you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s supper, for each of you goes ahead with your own supper. Thus some go hungry while others gets drunk. Why do you make those who have nothing feel ashamed? My siblings, no: when you come together to eat, wait for each other.”—1 Corinthians 11:20, 22, 33

Waiting to eat until everyone is seated is simply polite. But Paul isn’t talking about etiquette here. He’s warning us not to desecrate the Lord’s Supper, pointing out the difference between that supper and our own, Christ’s table and the world’s.

At the world’s table, no one waits for anyone. It’s a demented scramble to be first, shoving others aside, stepping over the bodies. Be first and you get prime cuts and excellent wine. Limp in later, you get gristle and dregs. At the world’s table, the wealthy, the privileged, and the strong devour everyone else’s share of the feast of life. But at Jesus’ table, mutual deference is the sacrament’s sign every bit as much as bread and wine.

We eat the Lord’s Supper truly not when we’re morally pure or doctrinally sound, but when we’re giving no advantage to the privileged. When in deeds personal and political we refuse to shame the poor. When our own wellbeing is inseparable from others’. When we set welcome tables in the streets of our grasping, unequal world as intentionally as we set Communion tables in our sanctuaries.

It’s the Lord’s Supper truly when we wait for each other. When we wait and work and witness until everyone arrives, everyone is welcomed, everyone is seated, served, and fed.

“1 Corinthians 11:20, 22, 33”

O Jesus, you have set your table wide
with welcome every creature longs to find;
so we have come to drink the cup of joy
and eat with thanks the bread of life you give.

But first we must confess with humble hearts
the anxious fears that contradict this sign,
that there won’t be enough for everyone,
and we alone deserve the most, and more.

How easily our hearts believe the lie
that status, wealth, and power have the right
to corner all the wondrous gifts of life,
to clean the plate and leave no crumb behind.

Have mercy, Jesus, medicine and life!
Restrain and heal our unchecked appetites.
Help us forsake the grasping way we live,
our dashing to the front of every line.

At life’s abundant banquet give us light
to notice empty chairs and plates unfilled,
the silent spaces haste and greed create,
and, grieving, pledge to wonder, work, and wait.

Then will Communion be a faithful sign
unveiling you, O Jesus, just and good;
then, only then, we’ll eat your Supper true,
and only then, in honest praises, pray.