September 19, 2020
“Communion in the time of COVID”
By Pastor Geitra Mickelson
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
God did a new thing this past Sunday night during our first Outdoor Communion service. In the desert wilderness of this pandemic, God brought forth streams of living water.
It was a beautiful day, and folks started to arrive just as the sun was beginning to set. How good it was to see those that came! The joy we felt in being together again was tangible. Yes, we were socially distanced. Yes, we had masks on. But we were together. We were able to gather, in person, once again, as the Body of Christ. These were streams of living water for our parched hearts.
Pastor Jason says the prayer of consecration over communion elements at Outdoor Communion on September 6.
Sure, Communion during COVID was different. We stood in assigned places. Communion was received in pre-packaged cups. But much of it was familiar, too. We heard again the story of that night in the Upper Room. We prayed the Lord’s Prayer together. Once more our Lord was made known to us in the breaking of bread and sharing of the cup. These were streams of living water for our parched souls.
It even sounded different. A speaker provided music, rather than our choir. Pastor Jason’s voice was muffled by a mask. Birds and crickets and cicadas delivered a constant accompaniment, as did passing traffic. But none of that was distracting.
In fact, as I stood in the back and observed the service, it all seemed…perfect.
In the midst of a pandemic, the people of God were gathering to worship God. Even though it felt different and looked different and tasted different and sounded different, the presence of God was with us.
And by meeting outside, we provided a witness to our faith seldom seen by those who haven’t been inside a church. Maybe someone passing by on the overpass or the side street caught a glimpse and thought, “I wish I was there.” Maybe God touched their heart, in that moment, to draw closer to Him. And the realization that God could bring such beauty and grace and possibility out of these challenging times were streams of living water for my parched mind.
Socially distanced communion will be a twice-monthly feature at Galilee.
Your pastors are committed to offering Outdoor Communion services twice a week as long as the weather permits us to do so. And since our Bishop has granted permission for us to receive Holy Communion as a part of a livestream worship service, this Sunday, September 13 we will be offering Holy Communion during our online worship service as well.
I hope you can join us in participating in this holy sacrament, online or in person, so that God may refresh and renew your parched places as well.