Michael and I first attended a service here at St. Christopher’s in April of 2016. We both grew up in the Northeast and both had been raised Catholic. We tried several Catholic churches out down here and after being told we were not welcome to receive the Eucharist because we both had been previously married, we decided to look outside of the Catholic Church.
Luckily, I had heard about St. Christopher’s and so one morning in the spring, we ventured in to the 10:30 service where we were so heartily welcomed. The part I remember most vividly was the moment when Fr. Walt said, “If you are present in this hall, you are welcome at His table.” I remember the feeling of peace and acceptance at hearing these words. That day, Michael and I received the Eucharist for the first time in a while. The following week, we took the children with us to a 10:30 service as we felt confident that this would be our new home, and the older two received the gift of the Eucharist for the first time ever in their lives! It was so special for them and for us as a family. Each Sunday, I would look at our youngest, Liam, and ask if he too wanted the “special bread,” and each Sunday he would shake his head no and instead receive a blessing. Ironically enough, one of my favorite aspects of the Episcopal Church- the welcoming of all to the table, also took away what I thought was special for people and celebrated in other churches- their very first Communion. Nevertheless, we continued on and enjoyed going up to the altar as a family-four of us receiving the Eucharist and Liam receiving a blessing. For several months I stopped asking him if he were ready and felt that he would tell me when he was. In a true God moment, Liam turned to me at the
4:00 pm family Christmas Eve service last year and said, “Mommy, I’m ready to get the special bread.” Tears filled my eyes as I was so overwhelmed that he would choose this special night to receive his first Eucharist. Seeing a four-year-old (at the time) recognize what a special time of year this was and thus desire to eat at God’s table, was truly the best gift I could receive- better than a service in which he was made to take his first Eucharist. It’s funny how God’s plans are always better than mine. In this seas of waiting, may you rest assured that the Lord is with you – already.
Daily Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
11 A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
6 The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9 They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.