A ministry of presence

We’ll be going to early worship tomorrow and I’m chalicing! I can’t wait to serve you the Cup.

This was my best friend’s answer when I asked her about our church plans for my very first day of vacation, a visit to see her and her husband at their beautiful home in the Georgia mountains.

What time will we need to leave? I asked.

7.10, she replied.

Oh.

That would be 6.10 AM Houston time. Earlier than I usually leave for church on a work Sunday.

I’ll admit. A Sunday off lie-in sounded sweet.

But my very best friend was sooooooo excited about taking me to church with her. She has a fabulous new Rector, and she wanted to serve me communion for a change.

So of course I went.

But I was thoughtful. Whenever I have the rare Sunday choice about going to church, I get a fresh understanding about the non-automatic decision it is for almost everyone else. I get how easy it is to rationalize other plans on a Sunday.

Today I went to early church because I wanted to be present for my best friend. I’d like to think I would have found worship in community later that day if I hadn’t.

Because why isn’t being present for God enough? I know, I know. I can be present for God anywhere anytime. But worship also means being present for God’s friends. Worship also means being present for God even when it takes a little extra effort. Especially.

I loved worshipping in my friend’s small town church, sitting next to her husband and my friend, Evan. The sermon was excellent. My friend served me communion.

Without my push out of bed as the sun rose I’d have missed it.

And I was back home in time for brunch, a walk by the river, and marathon movie watching in preparation for the Oscars.

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