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November 18, 2018

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Your post makes me think of this CS Lewis quote that I love so much and fail at all the time:

“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” --Weight of Glory

I am inspired by your love for our God and the actions you take to show it to others - including this blog post.

This is a challenging topic for me, because I attended a Catholic university that said the Eucharist was the heart of the community — and of course, 40% of us weren’t invited to partake. But I often did anyway, and once received from the (Jesuit) university president, who knew well that I was one of the Lutheran campus student leaders. I’m not sure why he wasn’t worried about it — but he clearly wasn’t.

ELCA Lutherans invite all baptized people to partake at the invitation of Christ. My WELS Lutheran cousins have closed communion and I appreciate that there are reasonable theological reasons for that approach. But I am happy to embrace the ELCA theology on this subject, instead. At the very least, it means I never have to worry about the issue you describe here.

I'm an Episcopalian, and like the ELCA we practice open communion, so when I'm serving as a LEM I don't have to worry about who gets it. (Do they expect you to refuse someone who doesn't seem to belong? That seems like a lot to put on someone.)

My philosophy in all things church related is that I Am Not the Boss of the Holy Spirit. Everyone experiences the Eucharist differently at different times.

I've been an LEM since 2006. The first time I did it was at our General Convention and there were hundreds of people and there I was giving wine to priests and monks and seriously holy men and women. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but then it was the amazing moment of connection and Grace and I've loved it ever since, even when I have to use the special towels to mop up the spills and or the special spoon to rescue a broken wafer from the chalice.

When I worked in a Catholic school I was known to be a heathen, but I did go up for a blessing at communion time. The Deacon who served as school chaplain knew me well and still offered me the bread. I didn't take it, because I don't eat in houses where I'm not welcome, but for Deac, at least, it would have been okay if I had.

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