To Live You Must Die

August 13, 2004

[death beckons]On Wednesday, our home group gathered for its last “serious” meeting. Next week we’ll party; it’ll be a celebration, fun and festive. But this week was a chance to reflect.

We began the evening by picking on different individuals, sharing the changes we have seen in each person over the past year. For some, the changes have been dramatic — from depression to confidence, from woundedness to healing.

For my part, I was able to share that I learned to lead a group without using the word “postmodern” — which caused a few to turn and say, “I don’t even know what that word means.” Hey, you emergent-types, how hot is that?

Teddy led us in free-flowing worship (“forget the song sheets, just worship” I told him). We worshiped. And I cried. I wasn’t expecting that. It didn’t look like I was the only one crying, either.

Then we shared communion. Going off of what David Ruis says on the DVD of last years’ Soliton Sessions, I said, “When Jesus did the Last Supper, he told us to remember, remember. What do we remember — his resurrection? No, his death. People tend to focus on the resurrection and take it for granted, forgetting that before resurrection comes death.” I can’t recall if I actually said this, but I was thinking, this is the death of this group. It is necessary and good.

Without prearrangement or anything spoken between us, Kay & I looked at each other and we both knew what to do — the two of us were to serve the others. Kay took the bread and I followed with the cup. It was a holy moment.

As we sat together afterwards, I reminded the group of others who were not with us that evening, including some who had passed through only briefly, and especially the guy in the wheelchair. I said, “Serving him communion was an honor and privilege. He blessed me.”

…Of course, I went on to say that taking communion also made me think of Jim “drink the Kool-Aid” Jones and of Heaven’s Gate. What is up with that?!?

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.