Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
On October 20th, as I stood behind the communion table with Pr. Todd, I heard something for the first time.
It was Children’s Sabbath that Sunday. In the children’s moment we talked about fairness and gave the children fair trade chocolate, much to their delight. The sermon and our prayers were focused on the lives of children, and our communion liturgy spoke to our belief that we are all children of God.
I stood there with Pr. Todd realizing that we would serve communion together one more time before he leaves to serve as Senior Pastor at St. John’s, Monroe.
As communion ended, we stood together and prayed our prayer of thanksgiving–it was then that I heard it.
In a single, familiar movement, worshippers put their communion cups in the pews and reached for their hymnals. As each cup was placed in the pew, it made a single sound, a tinkling sound, and all the sounds together was music.
There are moments of grace when the soul senses what otherwise cannot be perceived–a sound, a vision, a feeling. The perception alters the way we experience ourselves in the world. Our spiritual practice is to open ourselves to these moments, to be shaped by them, formed and transformed by our willingness to respond to that which is given rather than to resist that which cannot be changed.
That moment of music still resonates. It lasted for only a second or two, but in those few seconds were contained over a century of worship and thousands of people who have fed and nourished by the Lord’s Supper.
I close my eyes and imagine the seconds of each month and and all the years combined, and in this moment my prayers for the coming year are answered.
May God grant us openness in the coming year; may we be transformed by our willingness to respond to what we are given; and may we experience moments of grace that renew our souls and minds.