Singing, serving, and sharing
Mama always used to tell people that when I was born I came out singing. More likely, I came out squawling, but I think I probably started to sing not too long after that. It has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, and often, it has been the biggest and best part, facilitating other blessings. Yesterday was a day like that.
It was a Communion Sunday at church, and my longtime friend Marc and I sang a duet called “Taste And See” right before the sermon. The song is a paraphrase of Psalm 34, and among Marc, me and our friend/accompanist/collaborator John, we put together what turned out to be a heartfelt and lovely arrangement that seemed fitting for a Communion service. Singing with Marc is often a bit of a mystical experience; the blend of our voices is special, and added to the decades of friendship we share, the music always seems to become more than just the sum of its parts. Added to that dynamic was the brilliance of our new friend John pulling an accompaniment out of his gifted head (and in a different key than the score he was playing from!). So our musical offering felt special indeed.
But it was only a foreshadowing of the moments yet to come in the service. For, after the sermon was preached, the familiar and poignant story of the Last Supper was re-told to us, and Pastors Ann and Jason modeled a new way of offering communion for us to follow. We were to accept the elements from the person in line ahead of us, and in turn, we were to pass to the other side of the table and serve them to the next person in the line behind us. In all my decades of church services and taking of Communion, this was a first for me, a chance to serve the Body and Blood to a member of the church family.
The person I had the privilege of serving was my longtime friend Marc. John’s beautiful piano music as we communed added such a warm and lovely atmosphere to the service, and as Marc and I approached the altar, John revisited “Taste and See” that we had sung earlier. As I touched Marc’s hands and looked into his face, offering him this Heavenly feast, with the words, “Marc, this is the body of Christ, given for you…this is the Blood of Christ, poured out for you…” I had to fight back tears.
After Marc and I had communed, we took the elements up to the piano and served John last of all. Marc gave him the Body and I served the Blood. The power of this whole experience humbled me in a way I could not have anticipated, and cannot explain. I suppose it is just the chance to share music and God in a new way and deeper level with friends both longtime and recent, musical partners and brothers in Christ. Yesterday was a little glimpse of Heaven for me and I am so grateful for the chance to have experienced it, to Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord.