Monday, May 25, 2015

A dress rinsed, a life washed--QM and the Book of Common Prayer

A dress flaps outside, dripping water over the roses. I've worn this TJ Maxx find to almost every wedding I've attended since the long-ago hitching of my brother and sister-in-law. After the violence done to it this Sunday, however, I was afraid it might be time to retire my favorite outfit.

We do a few things conservatively at GMC, and communion is one of them--traditionally celebrated bi-yearly. The time had come around again, but on this occasion the congregation was encouraged to think outside the box a bit, to break the bread together as families (or not), to take the feast up front (or not), and to generally be creative and spontaneous. This isn't easy for many conservatives to accomplish.

Ethan and I are, by nature, creative and spontaneous, but we found ourselves following the crowd, taking the elements in a line like everyone else. Once we were at our seat, however, I felt that I just MUST do something unique. Then I remembered the Wesleyans.

"Intinction!" I  thought--now there is a great example of creativity in a Mennonite, to borrow from another denomination! I took my chunk of homemade bread, and dunked it in the small cup of Welches' grape juice.
I'd forgotten some simple science that may (or may not) be called displacement theory.
Purple juice puddled into my well-dressed lap.
The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven. Amen
I look down at the dripping bread in my hand, and quickly ate.
The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation. Amen
Suddenly I didn't care if my dress was forever ruined. Hang tidiness! I understood anew the mess of myself and the paradoxical mess of the cross. As I stared at my lap it was as if the purple turned red and the drops grew into a flood. The blood spilled, the stains removed--the shame taken away for good.

I lost it.

I wasn't crying politely, I sobbed out with gratitude for who I am--who we are!--because the Eternal God:
graciously accepted us as living members and
fed us with spiritual food
in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood 

This is the reality of my life--the kindness and love I have for people, the desire I have to live for others and not myself, any excellence of wifedom and motherhood I may have, and the holiness and purity I pursue do not come by some artificial striving on my part. The good qualities I posses spring up within me because I'm a soul surrendered to Jesus.
Let us go forth into the world,
rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.
Thanks be to God.


  1. Thank you for sharing dear one!!! Beautiful!!! It's experiences like this one that are a very real example of the abundant LIFE!!! It is all Him. Beautiful, simply BEAUTIFUL!!!

  2. Oh Queena I love your creativity and spunk!!! The surrendered life to Christ is exciting and so very fulfilling. We must have lunch together soon and catch up.

  3. Thank you, Queena, for sharing these hope-filled words of truth. It is a gift to share this journey of following Jesus together. (And special to read since my communion experience this time around consisted of trying to keep Isaiah from escaping from the pew) --Alicia