I think in ministry, it is odd (though joyful!) to see direct evidence of fruits in one’s ministry. Here is a conversation I had with a member after a recent meeting:
H: Mack, you won’t believe how many times I’ve had communion this week.
M: What do you mean?
H: Casey (his grandson) finished off all the communion stuff this week. Every morning this week he would get up, ask for some bread and grape juice, and say he was having communion. He dipped the bread in the juice and then offered me some.
I’ve been emphasizing Communion with my congregation, and I was pretty convinced I wasn’t getting anywhere. But maybe the kids get it in a way that the adults sometimes don’t. Maybe it’s not a terrible idea to have children at the table. As the Psalmist says, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.” For me, hearing that story gave me ample reason to ‘lift up my heart’. As much as I griped about the Methodists’ World Communion liturgy, I believe a return to the sacraments, along with the other traditions and practicies of the ancient church, is indeed the way forward. This doesn’t mean worship has to look like it did 50 years ago, or that new technologies can’t be incorporated. But we cannot forget Christian Worship 101 and expect to make disciples that are able to flourish as agents of the Kingdom.