Weather Report: June 16
I worked from the home office all afternoon. Shaded under an umbrella on the back deck, I called several people to check in. I watched some homework for tomorrow’s seminar “Race: The Power of Illusion”. I emailed, texted, observed robins flitter the afternoon away, and watched the sun pivot westward overhead.
I don’t remember a stretch of gloriousness like this in Door County. We’ve had five days of cloudless, calm, cool. I’m sure someone here remembers a famous run of great weather, but in my ten years, I don’t remember experiencing the absolute pleasantness of these days.
I recognize the contradiction. I enjoy the gloriousness of today, but not everything is glorious. I revel in the cloudless blue sky, but I know dark skies, evil intent, hurt and hatred cloud the horizon. The cool calm tranquilizes me, but not everyone can share the tranquility.
I want everyone to experience this. It is too good to keep to myself. If I could, if it were safe, I would invite the world to come and sit and know the cloudless, cool wonder of an afternoon. Words cannot express my contentment. A picture would not capture the image of peace. This is to be experienced—and if experienced, then shared.
In the Catholic rite, the “The Passing of the Peace” comes toward the end of the service. We share—we once shared—the right hand of fellowship at the beginning of our worship service. In the Moravian Church our celebration of Communion features not one, but two, opportunities to share peace, to shake hands, to embrace, or high five. The first time recognizes our desire to be at one with each other. The second time affirms our common desire to go and serve together.
Coming in, going out like waves, like breezes, like breathing. Communion is like that (both holy and ordinary communion)—a wave that flows and recedes, a breeze that filters through the cottonwood, a breath inhaled and exhaled. Pastors in the COVID-19 era wonder about the elements, the rite, the function and form of communion, and the theology of virtually consecrating elements. Believe me—we have worried and talked about these things.
Perhaps bread and cup cannot contain the elements of love and peace. Perhaps our rite, our rhythm, our orchestration cannot capture the wonder. Perhaps the symbols we use fall incredibly short of the reality of God’s presence.
I wish for you my friends a day when the worry and hurry retreat into the background of a cloudless blue sky. I wish for you a sense of communion and community, transcendent and splendid. And when you’ve had your fill, share it with someone else. May your peace become their peace; may their peace become your peace.
I love you.
I need you.
I hope for you.
Please be safe.