Our Church practices communion every week. It has been a part of my life since childhood, especially since I was baptized in 1980. Not only have I taken it each week, but since I entered the ministry in 1993, I have led others in taking it too.
Despite my forty-plus years of experience, I totally forgot it last Sunday as part of our morning worship. Yep, sixty-five people at our first program witnessed me miss one of the most significant parts of our worship gathering each week. And I know exactly why it happened.
I do not use any notes when I preach. One aspect of doing this is that I take mental pictures of each page of my notes while I practice it. So, for example, I know there is a scripture at the top of the second page followed by an explanation, and I finish the page with an illustration.
Well, as I was preaching, I suddenly felt like I was missing an illustration. I was very close to finishing, and my mind was racing over what I might possibly be missing. With my mind quickly running over all my notes in my head, I completed the sermon. Then I saw one of our elders come in the back door to have the closing announcements and prayer. I pointed for him to come forward, and he did his job of closing out the program. While he was talking, I looked over my printed notes that I keep by my seat in case of emergencies (I did need them once). He finished, and we asked everyone to be dismissed, and people said, “What about communion?”
I was so distracted that I forgot to lead us in communion. As a result, I missed focusing on Jesus and his work on the cross.
I share that story to remind everyone that I am a flawed mess like everyone else. I also wanted to remind you how easy it is to take your eyes off Jesus. One minor distraction made me forget an entire part of our worship focused on the cross of Christ. And one distraction can keep you from him too. Whenever something fills our mind, it has the capability of taking over and pushing out even the most important things.
Thankfully I am a part of a group of people who will not let me forget. They brought me back to faith and connected me with a Savior who loved us enough to have his body broken and blood shed for us.
For a moment, I forgot Jesus, but I am thankful to be a part of a community that helps me to keep Jesus at the center. And this is just one more reason that everyone should be a part of a Church.