The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Parade of hope

We walk with joy and brokenness

At my church’s Wednesday prayer group, we prayed for those on the weekly list and for others. The names, mostly of people I didn’t know, changed often. But some stayed on the list week after week: Mary, Elmo, Glenn, Joanne and Les.

I’d never met Les but knew of the graveness of his condition. As the months went on, the reports on Les improved. Then one Sunday, I realized that the man with the cane standing in the communion line was Les. Tears streamed down my face.

I have a ritual during communion: I thank God for the blessing of my church and for my friends there. I ask for guidance in my life, that my heart be cleansed and made ready to receive the body and blood. I take the bread and choose the grape juice, thanking God that alcohol no longer runs my life.

Then I move back to my seat and watch the parade of those seeking God through the common elements of bread and wine. I watch for Les, and I remember those who are no longer in the parade.

I know the line is full of joy and of brokenness. There are those who are old or sick, husbands helping wives and wives helping husbands. Babies in parents’ arms and children rescued from the poverty of Haiti. My buddy Lucas who has Down syndrome and Charley with his walker. If I have a seat on the end of the row, I may touch hands with a few as they pass. Some Sundays, I see Les.

As I walk this weekly parade of hope, I know God is there to greet me and each one—in our joy and in our sadness.


Hubert Hunzeker

Hubert Hunzeker

Posted at 7:09 pm (U.S. Eastern) 10/24/2007

Great testimony!! Why are Lutherns hiding  great testimonies under a bushel (basket) ?

Scott Geister-Jones

Scott Geister-Jones

Posted at 3:49 pm (U.S. Eastern) 10/30/2007

With eyes and heart wide open, Paul Kukuk catches the names and faces of saints who bless our midst and bring blessings to others.  Paul sees the "for you" of Christ greeting us through the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper.

Bonnie Berndt

Bonnie Berndt

Posted at 11:42 am (U.S. Eastern) 11/14/2007

Sharing testimonies as Paul did gives others so much strength in their Christian walk, I know it does mine. So heart felt and real. I think we should all show a great big smile as we walk back to our pew after partaking in the bread & wine, knowing His unconditional love thru the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We are free!

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February issue


Embracing diversity