PICNICS AND PENTECOST
What do you bring to the table? Very often our meals, gatherings, picnics are pot luck. Perhaps you have a "specialty". Or really enjoy that wonderful something made by Cousin Susie or Uncle Walt. Maybe you yourself try to mimick Grandma So-and-so's recipe for a tasty dish.
Memorial Day picnics, summertime get-togethers, barbecues, and food festivals are now signs of the season. And, so is Pentecost, the day on which that firey, windy, rushing, life-giving breath is joyfully celebrated and when we are reminded of our God given gifts and that we've been empowered to use them to the benefit of others.
So, what do you "bring to the table"? What is it that is yours...gifted to you by God...to offer to a world that is hungry and thirsty? Can you make lemonade when life gives you lemons, using the gift of encouragement to quench discouragement? Maybe you can teach others about the ingredients needed to strive toward a more just society? Perhaps yours is the gift of faith; you keep hoping and believing despite life's "recipe" not always turning out as you've planned.
Mercy, prophesying, giving and serving are other spiritual gifts mentioned in scripture (check Romans and 1Corinthians). There may be those who think they have nothing to bring, nothing of consequence to offer. I suspect there may be times when we've all felt this way. And even then, simply being present, bringing the gift of humility in our emptiness is a gift.
Every time we share Communion, come to the Table to be nourished by the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are called to remember what this gift is and what it does for each of us-to-unite us and bind us in love. It is personal act but also a corporate one. Eucharistic Prayer C reminds us that we need to be delivered from the presumption of coming to the Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only and not for renewal. "Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one Spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name."
The Table is spread. The "place settings" too numerous to count. What will you bring? What are you willing to share?
Welcome to the feast; and be ready to welcome others,