Rise… And Go In Peace

A “God-Encounter of the Jesus Kind.”

It was yesterday, in church.  During communion. We are fairly new to this particular congregation.  Still experiencing the newness of the way communion is celebrated there.

Pew by pew, we all walk forward and kneel at the altar in order to be served. We are a large enough congregation that while one row kneels and receives the bread and cup, another row stands behind them.

How did this start?  As a “Disney-esque” way to keep the large crowd flowing smoothly and efficiently? Perhaps.  But yesterday, I focused on a new detail.  Each person in the standing row placed a hand on the shoulder of the kneeler in front of them.

A symbol of Connection?  Of Family (with a capital F)?

So, there I was…. with my hand on the shoulder of an elderly man I have never met.  When it dawned on me:  Pray for him as he took communion. And pray for him, I did.

I prayed that this communion time would be a “God-encounter” for him like none other in his long life. That his remaining days would be more fruitful than ever… for You, Lord.  Because he would become more aware than ever of Your personal love for him.  And more empowered than ever by Your Spirit.

For such a time as this.

Our pastor said:  “Rise… and go in peace.”  

He did, along with the others in front of me.  Then, it was my turn to kneel.  And a hand touched my shoulder.  Did that person pray for me, Lord?  I don’t know.  But in a split second, I realized:  You did… didn’t You?  Like You do for me every moment of every day.

“Christ Jesus who died — more than that, Who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”  (Romans 8:34)

So, in a very real way, that hand on my shoulder yesterday was Your hand… wasn’t it, Lord?  And in that moment, I heard Your prayers.  I felt Your Touch.

Our pastor said:  “Rise… and go in peace.”  

I did, indeed.  I rose… and went in Peace.  In the presence of The Prince of Peace, who is with me every moment of every day.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:20)

Still communing…

… with tears of joy overflowing…

Abba’s Girl


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