It was a quiet snowy Sunday morning.
As people filtered into our little Episcopal chapel, the whole world looked like a scene from Currier and Ives. It was the mid 1970s, but it looked like we had been transported into the 19th century. Colors were muted, passing vehicle noises were muffled by soft falling snow. There was no wind, and the temperature was not cold, around 32 degrees.
Color began as we stepped out of our soft gray outdoor world into the church lobby bathed in colored light from stained glass windows, and more color was added by the rich beautiful priestly vestments for the Communion service.
Being a Sacramental congregation (high church Episcopal) and on friendly terms with Charismatics, Evangelicals and Pentecostals, our understanding of the nature of the Communion elements was a subject of discussion and friendly debate.
Were the Communion elements Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, or Symbolic Remembrance? There were a lot of discussions on this subject in the weeks leading up to this Sunday morning. I was puzzled. I think most were, except those who hold to their argued positions like good soldiers (whether or not they were right).
The liturgy began, and we enjoyed stirring hymns and words from the Book of Common Prayer.
We proceeded on to the the Eucharist, the reason for the Sunday worship in a Sacramental congregation.
I don’t remember if it happened when the priest said “This is my body” or when he said “This is my blood.” It was one of the two statements. At that moment, on a quiet, windless muffled snowy morning, the silence was shattered!
BOOM!!! Rumble Rumble Rumble Rumble Rumble…
In stunned silence we proceed to the Communion rail, and kneeling down, received the Body and the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The service drew to a close, and we all exchanged greetings and love, smiles and laughter, as we filtered out again into the soft, quiet snowy morning.
This is my body. This is my blood.
Let God be true, and every man a liar.