What Was In My Drink Last Night
New Year’s Eve is one of those nights filled with so many mixed emotions. Some people are lost in the crowd and lonely, while others seal away the past year with a special kiss. Things are different for those like Alpha SDA Church members who had the opportunity to be certain about where they stand at the beginning of 2008.
As the sun began to set December 31, 2007, the church began to fill with members several of whom were dressed in black and white. The organ played slow chords in a reverent fashion. There were only whispers in the sanctuary. It was one of those solemn atmospheres, far from the hype on Times Square. Tonight we’d have communion. “And what better way to start the new year, than to be clean?!” Pastor Gordon Jones remarked.
There was singing of hymns like Amazing Grace, spoken word on “New Beginnings”, and then we dispersed male and female into separate rooms for foot washing also known as the Ordinance of Humility. I thought, “Of all the places to be, here I am on my knees at my mother’s feet.” I’ll be honest, I did not really want to go to church last night. Something happens when you begin to check yourself before communion – it’s an attitude adjustment. The New Year can be a time of self reflection, but foot washing reminded me serving others should still be my focus. Time spent focusing on me, need be balanced with time spent focusing on glorifying Him by serving others.
After some hand sanitizer, more singing, and prayer we headed back to the sanctuary for what was listed in the bulletin as the Fellowship Meal. There were only candles to light the sanctuary. The congregation sang from hymns lit by cell phone lights, as darkness filled the midst. Something was going to die tonight, my sins would be washed away. It was this spirit that unified every attendee – we humbly accepted His sacrifice in exchange for our undeserving lives. The union at this communion was so beautifully intense, I forgot to mention it was a bilingual service with audible spanish translation all throughout.
We took the bread symbolic of His broken body and the wine representing His spilled blood, and just like that were made new. While many people dine on comfort foods and drink away the worries of the past or fears about the future, we found that perfect peace in what He asked us to do:
“and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” – 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 (NKJV)
And as the pastor had begun this service, “There’s both hope and fear here tonight…doors that have never been opened will be opened in 2008, and doors that have never been shut will be closed in 2008” (paraphrased) we truly have nothing to fear so long as God is near. So what was in my drink last night? Humility soaked in sacrifice, flavored with joy in my salvation. Unfermented Welch’s grape juice was just about the best thing they were serving last night, and my prayer is that it’s effects won’t wear off before December 31, 2008 rolls around.
Have a truly Happy New Year!