Last Sunday we did something in worship called “Cardboard Testimonies.” This is a way for people to share their stories of faith and of God’s grace in their lives without having to speak. On one side of the card were words that described a situation of life through which the person passed, and on the other the ways God had been present in a healing way, often through the ministries of the church.
It was a holy moment as, one-by-one, twenty-five of our members came out to the center of the chancel and held their stories aloft.
It wasn’t until later that a friend mentioned to me the power of the place where those stories were held, between the baptismal font and the Lord’s Table.
At the font we hear the welcome of God spoken over us through the waters.
At the table we are united with all the saints of every time and place, gathered around a table much larger and more welcoming than we can imagine.
And held in the embrace of this welcoming grace and holy communion are our stories.
The cards told of tragedy and loss, reconciliation and renewal, despair and joy. And as each one flipped over, the words illumined by the sunlit sanctuary, our tears flowed freely with and for one another.
As I reflect on those tears, I am convinced they flowed because we all felt together in that moment the reality of the promises proclaimed in baptism and lifted high at the table in bread and wine:
We belong to God.
We belong to one another.
Our stories are carried in that gracious, mysterious, life-giving space between font and table.
May it be ever so.