Ministry, Mystic Sweet Communion

I Wish I Had a Picture

I wish I could have taken a picture yesterday of the candle on our Communion table.

We began worship with the reading of the Ascension text in Acts 1. During the Easter season, the Christ candle has been on the Communion table, on the sanctuary floor at the foot of the chancel steps. At Acts 1:9, a young lady picked up the candle and carried it almost to the altar (never mind that we shouldn’t have one, being Congregational, but there it is), then turned and went out the door to the right of the altar. Above the altar is a stained-glass window representing the ascended Christ .

After a hymn and prayer and anthem, I began to read Acts 2, and The Princess came in the other door with a red taper in a tall candle-holder. She brought it to the Communion table, where it burned throughout the service.

Just after the reading, I gathered the children on the chancel steps, where we read Christina Rossetti’s poem about the wind.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

I planned to say that God’s Spirit is like the wind, that although we cannot see it, we know its presence by the way it moves us. This is the first week the sanctuary windows have been opened, and as I finished reading the poem, I noticed that a gentle breeze blew into the church. The flame on the red candle moved with the breeze.  For a moment we all sat and watched it, and the sanctuary became silent. It was a holy moment. 

I hold the picture in my mind, touched by the wind and flame of God’s Spirit. What needs to move in me?

7 thoughts on “I Wish I Had a Picture”

  1. I love moments like that when everything happens just when it is supposed to — like it was planned – a God moment.
    Curious as to why there is an altar and why there isn’t supposed to be one??

  2. I LOVE that poem. What a beautiful moment. I can just picture you up there with the children reading it as the breeze blew softly threw. We had a wind-filled service as well. So good. Thanks for that beautiful post.

  3. Oh. You didn’t say we were supposed to bring the red candle into the worship space with us. I left it on my desk and nothing happened. Now I know why.

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