On numerous occasions on Sunday mornings, I have witnessed a parent and a daughter or son serving communion together. At Coolwater this has been a special moment for them to share as one held the bread and the other held the cup for people to come forward to take communion. In my days before Coolwater, serving communion most often involved holding the communion tray filled with the cups and the bread plate. The people went out to the congregation and passed the trays back and forth along the pews or seats.
I was a teenager when I officially served communion at First Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. The day was even more special to me because my dad was also serving communion that Sunday. I was very excited and very nervous. I was excited because I felt I was being given an opportunity to do something very important in the life of the church. I was nervous because wanted to do a good job. I didn’t want to mess up and do something like drop the heavy communion cup tray that a scrawny, small teenage boy had to hold with one hand.
I remember receiving words of encouragement from people who understood that I was learning. They inspired me with confidence. I also treasured the encouragement I felt from my dad through his looks and smiles. That experience made me feel that church was a good place to be, and that I had a place there and a job to do.
The church is a place where we should be encouraging to one another and helping each other to grow in faith, love and service. The church should say, “You are important!” In our broken world we need a place where we are built up. In our world where often people just want to be left alone to live their lives, it is important to learn that together we can make a difference instead of just existing through life. One way we do that is through our life together as the church.
It is also good to know of God’s love and the opportunity of a new beginning, love and grace – and people who can make those things real. That is what the church must be. We all need to help Coolwater be that kind of place, and together that is what we do as we share the life, love and hope of Christ.