Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Merciful Jesus

I attended a conference on worship in St. Louis last week; the whole thing was great, and I simply drank in the content-- salve to my soul.

The highlight of the conference, though (apart from my dear old friend Greg Thompson blowing us all away with his excellent lecture on "liturgy") was the Communion Meal on Wednesday evening. We gathered in the fellowship hall of Memorial Presbyterian Church (a beautiful space) and found our seats. I spotted a friend and classmate from Covenant Seminary to sit beside, and having settled in found myself across from Nickolas Wolterstorff-- one of the speakers for the week, and also a philosopher whom I have long admired and read.

An opening hymn followed by a brief liturgy gave way to a meditation on Scripture, and then we were invited to break bread and serve wine to one another as a celebration of the Sacrament. This was my share of the Lord's Supper meal:


While we partook of Communion together, two of the musicians who earlier had led our hymn sang. The soprano accompanied them on a harp, and the alto simply sang. They did Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu" (from his Requiem) which means, "merciful Jesus." That song-- and that moment-- have been playing through my head for most of the week since then.

We broke bread and passed it, poured one another wine, and shared in the peace of our merciful Savior as we had a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb. Then we had a four-course meal, which-- as far as any of us were concerned-- may also have been a similar foretaste.

It was delightful. If I saw you there, I was so glad to do so. If you missed that, then I pray we will share in a similar feast together in glory!

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