HAVE YOU EVER VISITED A NEW CHURCH AND CAN’T SEEM TO BLEND IN? You feel completely clueless as to what is and isn’t acceptable. You are hesitant and awkward as you sing, greet the person next to you, and heaven forbid it is Communion Sunday. It feels as though everyone is staring. At you. Constantly.
This has been my reality on multiple occasions. Every time it is the same story. I have now just come to grips with my inability to “fake it”.
We were attending my nephew’s baby dedication. We had never visited their church before. (You may sense the foreshadowing.) And yes. Luckily. It was Communion Sunday.
I meticulously watched how to “do communion”.
IT WAS A FOUR STEP PROCESS:
- Go up front and take a piece of bread from server #1
- Dip the bread into the cup of juice from server #2
- Quickly eat the soaked bread (so as not to get drips on the church attire)
- Calmly and quietly go back to your seat
Straight forward, no sweat. “I could do this Communion process in my sleep,” I thought to myself. Waiting in line for my turn something caught my eye up ahead. I noticed a tragedy.
Someone sunk their bread in the cup. Alert the elders! The whole scene brought a sick smile to my face. In fact I even leaned over to my husband to clue him in.
Yes. I judged. “How could the person have been so clumsy? It’s not rocket science to dip a piece of bread into the cup.”
It was my turn. And would you believe it? I sunk my bread too. Classic example of pride coming before a fall. I hung my head in shame.
Why do I judge others so quickly? My first response should be grace and mercy. It’s what Jesus did and does for me. “Mercy always triumphs judgement”.
It’s possible my new mission should be to start a support group for us “all thumbs communion dippers”. Come on, I know you’re out there! We would practice, practice, practice and then…who are the expert dippers now? They say your greatest area of ministry is the place where your biggest life lessons have been, right?
This embaressing moment actually helped me see my legalistic, self-righteous mindset at times. How often do I look down on someone for what they did or didn’t do “right”?
Even if I don’t say anything, I think it. I am thankful for moments like these that humble me. Lately it seems these teachable moments are not so few and far between. They are every day.
Lord give me humility. Forgive me of my self righteous attitude. Help me see others as better than myself. Give me grace and charity for my brothers and sister’s in Christ who think, act, or worship differently than I do.
Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Is there a specific brother or sister in Christ you look down upon? Are you willing to humble yourself, forgive, and make peace if necessary?
© 2012 Standing on Peace