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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The eternal table

We hope this new step will further reveal the communion God intends

It happened again Sunday. The front wall of the sanctuary disappeared. Standing behind the table, the pastor raised her hands lifting the bread, then the cup. Suddenly the bricks behind her weren't there anymore, obscuring my vision of eternity. Instead I saw those who have gone before and now enjoy clear vision of the One whose name is mercy, the blessed God whom I glimpse only in bits and snatches.

Their eyes, too, rose as the pastor lifted the holy gifts of God's constant giving. A great crowd with smiling eyes and moist cheeks, they looked back at us, the living congregation among whom I stood.

We were one congregation. Not two, one: Here and there, living and ... well, living. One part shining in glory, the other struggling and confused, yet all sharing "mystic sweet communion" with the One we receive at the table and share with each other.


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