Grace Kernersville resumed gathered worship in a modified way this past Sunday. This was the first time since March 22 we had physically gathered for worship, and it was the first time since February that we had received the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. It was a morning of expectation, and I sensed deep appreciation among those gathered for the opportunity, and our worship was full of gratitude.
Yet, there was a tinge of sadness. Our numbers were limited to under thirty people. We were socially distanced and masked. We were outside in the morning heat in our picnic shelter and not in the climate controlled building worshipping in the comfort of our sanctuary. The elements of the Lord’s Supper were one of those single, prepackaged, shipped-in-box-of 250 MRE’s. It all, we all, didn’t look like much. Yet, on the other hand, it seemed to be just about perfect.
As I am wont to do, the clause, “it doesn’t look like much” got me thinking and I turned it into a poem which I posted earlier this week on my personal blog. I think it important for us to look closely at the gap between what we want and long for and the disappointing reality which we are oftentimes offered. This space as one other pastor has said is the gap where the grace of God stands in stark contrast. It is the gap wherein the gospel fits, bridges, and shines. The grace of God on one level may, at first glance, not look like much, but for those who look closely it is far greater than we dare hope or even can imagine.
I share the poem here together with a recording of me reading the poem.
You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.
It doesn’t look like much, no high altar,
No stained glass; it’s just a picnic shelter:
With a concrete floor and wooden tables.
It may not have looked like much,
But God first spoke, first reached with hands to touch
Us in a village stable.
We don’t look like much, not more than thirty
In our number gathered on a Sunday,
Scattered here to hear of Him who freed us.
They may not have looked like much:
Uncouth, unschooled yet bold in the clutch—
All knew they’d been with Jesus.
This doesn’t look like much, this plastic cup
Of juice, this tasteless bread, on which we sup,
Sealed in cellophane for distribution.
It may not look like much,
But the wicked and proud ne’er fed on such
A feast of absolution.
Yes, it isn’t much, only bread and wine
Bur it’s more than food on which we dine
It speaks pledge through sign, by words unspoken.
It may not look like much,
But here is promise more than enough:
He still loves and is for you, broken.
© Randall Edwards 2020. This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and my blog (backwardmutters.com).