In those days, Nixon was President, hair was ratted and lacquered to the heavens, and anti-bacterial products had never occurred to anyone. (Had not man just walking on the moon? Seriously, how much more could society realistically progress?) A pastor in a little red brick church decided to offer a Christmas Eve communion service.
And since this was an unprecedented event, worries abounded. ‘But so many will be out-of-town’ was one argument. Another pointed out the colds, flu, and the I-Think-I’m-Gonna-Die-So-I’ll-Plan-My-Funeral-on-the-Cold-Bathroom-Tile stomach viruses were wreaking havoc in the small town. ‘Is it really going to be worth the effort?’
Still, the pastor was compelled to try, if only for those few faithful that tend to show up whenever the doors are open.
A decree went out over the land, inviting all to worship on this glorious night of nights.
And lo, the pastor was amazed. For unto him a packed house lay before his eyes, one he could have never have imagined. Even faces looked down from the hardly used balcony. Hymns were sung, scripture read, and the Spirit danced among the open-hearts. Yes, the glory of the Lord shone all around them.
Up from the basement the kitchen ladies proclaimed, ‘There are not enough communion cups!’
‘But we don’t have time to wash them!’
‘Refill them, anyway.’
‘But the flu…”
‘Refill them and let God handle it.’
And they were sore afraid.
Now, I don’t know if their hearts were as willing as Mary’s when she said, ‘let it be as you say.’ It’s highly doubtful, but they did as the pastor requested.
Communion was served, and the worship was a precious aroma filtering unto God in the glow of candlelight reflected in the reverent faces.
As time passed, talk circulated amongst the congregation, I’m sure generated by the curious, yet, concerned kitchen staff. ‘Did anyone at your house get sick after the service?’ and ‘You know I wasn’t feeling real great, but went the service anyway. Now I feel great.’ Eventually, after the census had been taken, not a report came back of illness. Yes, the Savior who had turned water into wine had covered a multitude of sins and highly infectious germs, making the tainted vessels pure as if washed in bleach water. Once again he had shown himself to those who were faithful to seek him.
Let us be like Magi, who said, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2)
From our house to yours, may you have a very Merry Christmas as you welcome the Savior, Healer, Friend, Redeemer, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace……
Cliff and Kelly Long, Casey, Misty, Cole
Karsten, Robin, and Bren Burns