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Sunday Reflections, June 5, 2016: The Eucharist

We’ve had profound nights at The Practice, beautiful, deep, meaningful, and last night was several of those things. But most of all, last night was FUN. Of course, I spent a decent chunk of the evening over at the Practice Kids space, so that probably contributed to it.

The through-line of the night was the Good News that Jesus is there for us to cling to no matter our circumstances. We sang what is rapidly becoming my favorite Spiritual about how we want Jesus to walk with us through our sorrows, our trials, our journeys. We heard Scripture read about a God who lifts us up and doesn’t let our enemies gloat over us, and a Messiah who heals even the dead. We put that faith radically into action by praying a blessing not just for our friends, but for our enemies.

And then we got ministered to. It’s always a pleasure to have the mellifluous Southern Pentecostal tones of Jonathan Martin with us, but to have Nichole Nordeman too was a true joy. It was, of course, a privilege to have such a wonderfully gifted musician in the Chapel with us last night, but her lyrics punched just as hard as her voice. She brought to life in powerful ways the truth of Jonathan’s message, that in the darkest times and stormiest seas Jesus is a raft we can cling to. What a wonderful truth.

Jonathan continued our deep-dive into the elements of the weekly liturgy by bringing the Eucharist to life. The Table is the place that each week we get reminded that no matter what else is going on in our lives, Jesus died for us and offers us life. The Bread and the Cup are tangible proof that we haven’t been forgotten or forsaken. We can hold on for one more week. Or, more accurately, Jesus will continue to hold on to us just as he promised. Take a listen to the podcast here:

And then, of course, the fun continued when we were treated to a fantastic after-party. We gathered to celebrate the publication of Jonathan’s book How to Survive a Shipwreck with cupcakes, cheese, cookies, and soda bottles with colorful straws. The room was so full of life and warmth, and I for one hope that celebrations like that become deeply embedded in The Practice’s DNA.

And, let’s be honest, I want Rhianna and Lori to plan my next party!

Grace and Peace to you all this week, friends.

Curtis & The Practice Team

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  • April Carlson says:

    I attended the Practice for the first time on Sunday evening, June 5, 2016. I came with sadness and some trepidation as my husband of 57 years passed away on March 7th. I came because of I have been getting the Practice emails for a number of months, am intrigued by the liturgical and sacramental aspects of your services and am in need of simple but profound rest in my life. (I am a member of Willowcreek Dupage and find the services and fellowship there sustaining but sometimes need a respite of sorts). So I came to the practice by myself, lonely in a deep way but choosing to experience this session first by myself. I am (and was that night) particularly sad and “on my own” in every way. Then Kyla came and sat by me. When she asked how I had come to the Practice I immediately began to cry. All of this fresh grief comes on unexpectedly and powerfully. But she had a sweet and comforting manner which helped me to settle. And then the service started. The first song we sang as a congregate was “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me”, the same song which was sung at my husband’s memorial service as our family walked in. The solemnity of the liturgy, the eucharist, Jonathan’s openness about what it means to be “Shipwrecked” and then Nicole Nordeman’s beautiful singing filled me like a sweet savor. I have been listening on Youtube her song “Small Enough” which perfectly depicts what it is like to wonder does our Great God see our tears and still know the number of the hairs on our heads? This is all to say, thank you for the evening spent at The Practice. I shall return, not sure when, but always when my soul needs the soothing beauty of liturgy and communion. It is a grace.

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