In the Lectionary

October 1, Ordinary 26A (Matthew 21:23-32)

Love has come into the world and is walking even now.

This past Lent, our church did a worship series focusing on communion. We tried to see with new eyes what sharing in the communion of Christ could look like in our time and place. In the wake of the election last November, edginess, tension, and fear had crept into our wider community and our life together as church. So it felt particularly right and important to remember who we are as the beloved community and what sharing in communion looks like.

The Fifth Sunday in Lent was also the first Sunday in April. For us, that meant it was a communion Sunday. As worship began, I remember feeling grateful for that wooden communion table at the front of the sanctuary, a table full of fresh bread and cups of juice, a table of welcome and abundance.

I was about halfway through the sermon, sharing how I had come to see not the cross but the communion table as the defining symbol of our faith, when the side door to the sanctuary opened and Harriet (I will call her) walked in. Harriet had been worshiping with us off and on ever since first coming to the church a couple of months back as one of the guest artists from Common Art. The Boston-based program provides space, materials, and caring staff to support unhoused and low-income people as they develop their artistic abilities. As Harriet entered the sanctuary, the door shut loudly behind her. Several people glanced in her direction.