The Table of Presence

I normally refrain from posting personal entries/prayers from my journal, but this one I wanted to share:

August 18, 2015

Dear God,

Once upon a time, I thought I knew everything. I had all my conceptions conceived of the construct we call God. I knew why Calvinism was superior to Armenianism, what teachers were “solid” and which ones were not, and where to find every possible apologetic defense for Your existence. I was happy and content, for faith was easy. In the beginning of my Christian life, there You were.

It all started to change with rethinking my view on atonement (from substitutionary to ontological). And from there it has brought me through a spiral of questioning, doubt, confusion, and uncertainty. How can I say that my one particular articulation and interpretation of Scripture is the one true faith? If there are so many variations of Christianity out there, how can I discern truth from error when they all can argue from the same book? In my attempts to get my head straight and focus on you through centering prayer, I felt noting. You were gone. Left empty and void, there was only one conclusion: You are not there. I have made you up in my mind, and thus made up my mind concerning you and your existence. In that one moment, I don’t know what happened. It was like like Your presence was absent from my life. I felt like David crying out but getting no response. Though I was asleep to your presence, I still believed your Spirit hovered over this.

But then after years of wondering about my career, I have been offered a job at Urban Youth Impact getting to fulfill my dream. Ironically, at the moment I felt least closest to you, you answer my prayers. But it wasn’t until the Sunday after, when I went to visit another new church (such as I have been doing all summer), and I approached Your table. I took the elements, the bread and the cup, and beheld myself at the table of Your presence. You and me. Together. It was a different way of taking communion that ironically wasn’t all that communal. But in that moment, it was exactly what I needed. You were there, giving me an overwhelming sensation of Your love for me and presence in my life. My spirit, soul, and body knew it, all was in harmony, and I was at total peace. I realized that this oneness was brought on not by abstract mystic prayers or secluded devotions, not by choosing a theological camp or engaging in a debate, but rather by You with me, gathered around a table in the presence of community. In other words, a meal. The ordinary. This is how You command us to remember You, to know that You are here with us, among and in us. How remarkable that is! It’s no wonder the heart of Your prayer for us after that Last Supper was unity with You and one another. You let Your light of Christ shine in my heart and declared to my being: “Let There Be.” I wept, and then I woke up.

Amen.

The Eucharist
The Eucharist
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