The service today was beautiful. Ancient and new, as St. Augustine would say. Both ancient and new and full of love and joy. There were two of us being received into the Church... and 4 others being confirmed with us. So the two of us were called up first to profess our faith. I had been practicing so I wouldn't trip over the words. And then the rest of the candidates came forward and joined us facing the priest. One by one he went down the line and was introduced to each of us by our sponsor, using our chosen name. Mine is Elizabeth John. It was only this morning that I realized that it is the name of my father and his sister. My intent, of course, was John the Baptist and his mother, Elizabeth. I honor them because I was so late in coming to recognize Jesus for who he was... but Elizabeth and John knew the moment that pregnant Mary walked into their home. John lept for joy in his mother's womb. Mary wasn't even showing yet.
Father put his hands on our heads and prayed for the Holy Spirit to enter us. As I stood there, I actually did feel the Spirit. I was trembling and felt a little faint. My head was swimming, but not in a frightening way. I felt like I was riding a wave of energy towards the Eucharist. After we were confirmed, I went to the back of the church and helped carry the wine back for communion. I handed it to Father, bowed, and returned to my seat.
I was the first invited to receive. I took my time. I walked to Father. Rachel, he said, the body of Christ, and placed a consecrated host into my upturned palm. I lifted my hands to my mouth and took the host on my tongue. Then I stepped to the side and stood in front of the woman holding the cup. She raised it to me and said 'the blood of Christ.' She expected me to take it, but for a moment I just looked into her eyes. We both recognized the wonder of that moment... the moment of my first taste of the blood of Christ. I lifted the cup and took at taste, then turned and walked back to my seat. From that point on, the rest is a blur.
Later though, when I was home, I reflected on the miracle that had taken place today. I have felt a sense of warm love all day, like Jesus really and truly is in me. Like he is with me in a different way. And I can hardly believe my good fortune that tomorrow morning I get to do it all over again. Tomorrow and every day. To God be the glory.