More Than Enough

Anthony Baptism

John 6:1-21 NRSV

It is believed that St. Francis of Assisi once said: “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary use words.”

I believe the baptism of Anthony Truong preached this morning’s gospel lesson from John this morning without using a word.

People had gathered together “because of the signs that Jesus was doing for the sick”: for people who could not see, for people who could not hear, for people who could not talk, and for people who could not walk.

Then came a logistical conundrum.

Jesus said to Philip, “Where on earth are we going to buy enough bread to feed all of these people?”

“There’s just no way,” answered Philip. “Six months wages would not be enough to feed this crowd!”

Andrew spoke up and said, “But there’s this boy here!”

I like that. “But there’s this boy here. He has 5 loaves and two fish, but not enough to feed five thousand people.”

However, the good news is that although what the boy possessed did not seem like enough, with Jesus, it was actually more than enough!

After everyone ate (notice verse 11 and 12) “as much as they wanted” until they were “satisfied,” the left overs filled twelve baskets!

When Anthony expressed his desire to be baptized, we were also faced with a logistical conundrum.

Someone said: “How are you going to have enough strength to carry Anthony up and down those baptistery steps, baptize him, and then carry him back up and down so he can dry off, get dressed and be back in the service before communion. There’s just no way.”

I started thinking: “Maybe we could baptize him by pouring water on his his head; that way, he would not have to get into the baptismal pool.” So I asked Anthony. To which he responded and I quote, “No, I want to go all the way.”

So to the question of “how are you going to make this happen,” my answer is: “But there’s this boy here!”

“But there’s this boy here, and although the faith that he possesses may not seem like enough, I have a feeling that it is more than enough!”

As soon as the newsletter was emailed on Tuesday announcing the baptism, John Mundy, Steve Parke, Randy Alexander, and Dan Marshall immediately agreed to help with the baptism to make sure it was more than enough.

The good news is that this is exactly how our God loves to work in our world. When there seems to be no way, God loves to make a way. When it seems like it is not enough, God makes not just enough, but more than enough!

Our Hebrew lesson this morning from 2 Kings 4 illustrates this good news: During a famine a man brings the prophet Elisha a prophet’s tithe: Twenty loaves of bread and some fresh ears of grain in a sack.

Elisha accepts the tithe, but says, I want you to take this food and give it to the poor.

It is then the man points out the logistical conundrum: “But there’s just no way. There is not enough food here to set before a hundred people.”

But Elisha assures the man, “Because of your great faith in bringing this tithe during a famine, I have this feeling that it is more than enough.”

The man set the food before the people, and sure enough, there was not only enough, but it was more than enough, as they had leftovers.

This good news was also experienced by Elisha’s predecessor Elijah.

In 1 Kings 17, the prophet Elijah is sent by the Lord to visit a woman widow in Zarephath who will feed him when he arrives.

When he comes to the gate of the town, just as the Lord had said, he meets a widow who is gathering a couple of sticks to build a fire for dinner. He called to her and said, “Pour me a glass of water. And while you are at it, bring me a morsel of bread.”

Confronted with a logistical conundrum that has life and death consequences, she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug.” In other words, “There’s just no way. I simply do not have enough for you in this famine.”

Elijah says: “Do not be afraid.”

Old Testament Professor Katherine Schifferdecker imagines her saying:

“Easy for you to say! You’re not the one preparing to cook one last meal for yourself and your son before you die. You’re not the one who has watched your carefully-hoarded supply of flour and oil relentlessly dwindle day-by-day, week-by-week, as the sun bakes the seed in the hard, parched earth and the wadis run dry. You’re not the one who has watched your beloved son slowly grow thinner and more listless.”

“Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son” (1 Kings 17:13).

“How dare this man of God ask me for bread, knowing that I have so little? Who does he think he is, asking me for bread before I feed my own child? There’s no way. I told him that I have only “a handful of meal, a little oil, and a couple of sticks. There’s not enough. And Death waits at the door.”

Then the good news:

For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah (1 Kings 17:14-16).

There was not only enough. There was more than enough.

Diagnosed with scoliosis, the doctors wanted to perform surgery when you were 12 years old. During the surgery you suffered a spinal stroke that left you paralyzed from the waist down. Some thought there was no way. They said, “there’s just not enough left.” But, you didn’t give up. You kept going. You kept fighting, and you kept living. You joined a wheelchair basketball league. You stayed in school. You went to church. And six years later you joined Ainsley’s Angels and completed a 5k and a 15k. Soon after that 15k, you ended back into the hospital for the second time with a severe infection. On a respirator for nearly three weeks, some feared there might not be enough antibiotics, love or faith to see you through. They feared you might be running out of sticks, your jar was almost empty, your jug was beginning to fail.

But the good news is that you came back, and you came back strong. You completed not one but three more 5ks. You enrolled in college. You joined a church. And this morning you were baptized symbolizing that not only did you have enough sticks, enough meal in you jar, enough oil in your jug, you had more than enough.

And the amazing news is that there are countless more stories just like Anthony’s in this room. Your marriage failed. Your son was killed. A child died. You lost your job. You lost a business. You lost your home. You became addicted to alcohol or drugs. You received a grim diagnosis. People said there was no way. They said you were all about out of sticks. However, you never lost your sense of gratitude. You kept the faith.  In the face of your suffering you continued to worship and thank God for the gift of life. Somehow, some miraculous way, your jar never emptied and your jug never failed, and you have always found that you always seem to possess a great big pile of sticks! And not just enough sticks, but more than enough.”

Not only does the baptism of Anthony this morning proclaim the text about Jesus having more than enough to feed 5,000 people, it also proclaims last part of our text about Jesus walking on water.

It was the Sunday after Hurricane Floyd flooded the first house Lori and ever purchased in eastern North Carolina. To say that we had a logistical conundrum would be making an understatement.

I had been wading in waist deep water that Thursday and all day Friday trying to salvage our possessions. And then on that Sunday morning, can you believe that one of the first things that I did was to climb down the steps of our baptistery into waist deep water to baptize a new member of the church?

I’ll never forget the first words I spoke. I looked out into the congregation from that baptistery, and I said, “You know, you would think that standing in waist deep water is the last place I would want to be this morning. However, it is actually the first place I need to be this morning!”

I then said: “Before today, baptismal water had always represented purity and refreshment to me. It was a water which cleansed one’s spirit and refreshed one’s soul. It was a renewing, invigorating water, life-giving water. However, on this particular Sunday, this water represents to me something more, something dreadful, something heinous, something sinister. This water symbolizes destruction, despair and death.”

I believe Paul understood the destructive forces of sin and evil in our world and that water was symbolic of of those chaotic forces. This is why he wrote to the church in Rome: ‘Remember that you have been buried with Christ by baptism into death.’

And this is why the picture of Jesus walking on water in the darkness amidst howling winds and crashing waves is so inspiring. Jesus was doing much more than walking on water. That would be enough in itself. Jesus was walking all over the forces of evil like they did not even exist. Which makes it more than enough.

This morning, Anthony, was buried with Jesus into death, and he rose from death into the newness of life, symbolizing that he will always have more than enough to conquer any storm, flood or chaotic force that might come his way.

And the good news is that God is still walking on water. God is still raising people up. God is still serving bread. God is still filling jars and replenishing jugs, and in God’s kingdom, the sticks that fuel the fire of the Holy Spirit never run out. So do not be afraid. Despite every logistical, physical or spiritual conundrum we face, there will always be enough. No, in God’s abundant mercy, there will always be more than enough. Thanks be to God.


Walter and Frances – A Love Story

Love story

Walter and Frances Blackley were married on the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day, February 13, 1945. They were married for 58 years. In February 2003, they both passed away, ten days apart, around Valentine’s Day. So each time Valentine’s Day rolls around, I remember them and their wonderful love story. The following are the words from their memorial services.

On February 8, 2003 I said…

Luke 2:25-32 NRSV

This scripture text contains one of the most beautiful prayers found in the Bible. In fact, it is more of a hymn than it is a prayer. It is a wonderful hymn of celebration consisting of verses found in the Hebrew Scriptures from the book of Isaiah. It is the last hymn of righteous and devout man named Simeon.

Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of al peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for the glory to your people Israel.

This was the last prayer of a righteous and devout man, named Simeon. I want to suggest that this was also the last prayer of a righteous and devout man named Walter Blackley.

Simeon was able to sing this prayer, because Simeon was given the blessed opportunity to hold the Christ Child in his arms. Simeon was given the opportunity to hold the hope for the world in his arms. Simeon was given the blessed opportunity to hold grace in his arms.

More than perhaps anyone that I know, I believe Walter was also a holder of grace.

Allow me to define the concept of grace for you by asking you a few questions:

What do you call a seventy-something-year-old man who was able hit a baseball and ran the bases with his grandson during a little league’s parents’ day?

I believe you call that grace.

What do you call an eighty year old man riding a jet ski with his thirteen-year old granddaughter?

I believe you call that grace.

What do you call someone who valiantly served his country in the Second World War, surviving untold horrors, without loss of limb and life?

You call that grace.

What do you call someone who contracted malaria that sent him home to a military hospital until the end of the war where soon after he married his girl named Frances with whom he shared 58 long years of happiness?

What do you call the gift of a small farm which provided needed therapy which helped a war veteran overcome the dreadful experiences of war?

You call that grace.

What do you all someone who was given the gift of three beautiful daughters and the gift of four beautiful grandchildren? What do you call the miracle of Vida Mclawhorn who has and continues to confound medical science and inspire us all?

You call that grace.

Walter understood that these gifts—this gift of abundant life, this gift of vigorous health, this gift of miraculous strength, and the gifts of love—were all completely unearned and underserved gifts of God’s amazing grace.

This is what I believe made Walter such a wonderful man.  This is what I believe made him so endearing and so loving to so many people.  This is why I believe Walter lived is life and served others in the community with such incredible integrity. This is why he treated everyone the same regardless of their ethnicity and regardless of their religion.  This is what gave this endearing man such a wonderful sense of humor.

Walter understood that it was God’s grace which kept him going so strong so late in his life.  Always in a hurry.  One of Walter’s all time favorite sayings was:  “C’mon Frances, we got it go!”

It was the amazing grace of God which enabled him to mow is own lawn every summer, even this last summer. . .with a push mower.  Walter Blackley was indeed a holder of grace.

Like Simeon, Walter had been given the wonderful opportunity to hold the Christ Child in his arms.  He had been given the opportunity in his eighty-six years to hold the promise of strength and the promise of help in times of trouble which was found through his relationship with Christ.  Walter had been given the opportunity to hold hope and salvation in his arms.

I believe this is what compelled this man to attend Sunday School and worship so faithfully Sunday after Sunday.  Walter came to church, even during the past year when the pain in his neck and shoulder was the greatest, because Walter realized that all that he had, and all that he had received were unearned, undeserved gifts of God’s amazing grace.

I believe the best news for us is that we who loved Walter and were loved by Walter, are also holders of grace. We are holders of grace because we too have been given a wonderful gift.  We too have been given a gift which was completely unearned and undeserved.  For we each of been given the gift of Walter—of  knowing him and loving him and being loved by him.  And when we can consider this, I believe our mourning and grief can be and will be transformed into thanksgiving and joy.

And in what may be more difficult, I believe we should also consider that we are holders of grace because have also been given the peaceful, gracious death of Walter.  I have heard many Christians tell me that they do not fear death.  It is dying that they fear. Christians do not fear going to be with God, it is the pathway to God that we fear—it is the suffering we fear. Yes, the way that Walter died is yet one more reason that I believe the last prayer of Simeon was the last prayer of Walter.

And I believe we also need to consider that we, like Simeon and like Walter, have also been given the gift of the gift of the Christ child.  We too have been given the gift of the promise of strength and help in times of trouble. As God had delivered Walter through so many of life’s storms, we can know that God can and will do the same for us.  God will see us through our grief and our pain, and God will one day see us through our deaths, as God has seen Walter through his. We are indeed holders of hope, holders of salvation, and holders of grace.

And hopefully, we too will one day be able to sing the prayer of Simeon and the prayer of Walter Blackley:

 Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.


On February 19, 2003 I said…

I need to say it, because during the last three days, we have all have been thinking it. We have said it silently to ourselves and out loud to others.

Frances was always just a few steps behind her husband, Walter.

It was like Walter had called from heaven, “Come on Frances, we got to go!”  Frances was always a few steps behind Walter because Frances loved to tell a story. Walter would say, “Frances, we’ve got to go” or “They’ve got to go. They’ve already heard that story ten times!”

And she would respond, “Well, I’m going to tell it again!”  Then she would say: “That man’s been rushing me since the day we got married!”

Yes, Frances loved to tell a story.  And this woman was the perfect story teller because she knew a little something about everything.  She was one of the most well-read ladies that I know.  She was also one of the most faithful Christians that I know.  Thus, many of her stories, her grandchildren recall, were like Aesop’s Fables. She had a story for everything, and each story taught us a valuable lesson about life. Carol, Janice and Vida, your lives and your children’s lives have been enriched forever because of those stories.  You are who you are—strong, caring, compassionate, loving, Christian—because of the many wonderful stories Frances told.  Her stories taught you to avoid gossip and pettiness.  Her stories taught you not to sweat the small stuff; to respect and to love everyone the same.  Her stories taught you to work hard, to be fair and to keep it simple.

Her stories taught you about love. That love is patient and kind. That love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. That love does not insist on its own way.  It is not irritable or resentful.  It does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Many of us have said to one another and said to ourselves that Frances died the way Frances lived: Ten steps behind her husband, Walter, telling stories.

Frances spent the last ten days telling and retelling a wonderful love story that mimics a fairy tale.  Eleven days ago, Frances had the rare opportunity to share this love story with her entire family and a host of friends:

A love story of a seventeen-year-old beautiful stenographer from Salisbury named Frances who had eyes for a handsome, confident 25 year old named from Franklinton named Walter— A love story of a courtship that was only six months old when the couple was separated as Walter was called to serve his country during the Second World War— A love story of a long distance  relationship which endured two-and-one-half years as the two sent exchanged love letters between Salisbury and New Guinea— A love story of a young man who came home from the war to meet his girl in Salisbury on a Monday, and to elope the next day on Tuesday, the day before Valentine’s Day.  Frances told us of a love story which encompassed fifty-eight years of marriage— A love story about a couple who were completely devoted to their family, supportive of every  good thing their children did— A love story of a couple who always stayed together, always worked together, always worshipped together and always played together— A love story of a couple who spent many Saturday nights dancing together in their living room to ball room dance tunes emanating from their television tuned to the Lawrence Welk Show.

This past week I believe that Frances also told us another love story.  However, this story was not told with mere words. This story was told more with her life. This story was told more with her tremendous faith in God.  One of the grandchildren showed me Walter and Frances’ big family Bible.  Throughout the book, from Genesis to Revelation, there are dates written on the pages with two initials, “W.” and “F.”  Beginning in Genesis, Walter and Frances read the Bible together and then dated and initialed each passage.  They did this for years until they finished reading the Bible from cover to cover.

Yes, Frances loved to tell a story, but more importantly, Frances loved to tell the story.  With her life and with her faith, and with the word of God engraved on her heart, with tremendous fortitude, Frances shared with us the love story of God. –The love story of a God who has promised to never leave us or forsake us.  –The love story of a God who walks with us in the valley of the shadow of death no matter how many times we are forced to walk there –The love story of a God who promises to be present with us through the storms of life and to see us through them—The love story of a God who always gives us the strength that we need to face any trial and any tribulation—The love story of a God who is always in our world working all things together for the good—The love story of a God who has given us the wonderful gift of God’s self, the gift of the Spirit and the gift of the Church.

One of the first things that Frances said to me after Walter’s death was, “Jarrett, I have said it before, and I will say it again: “If you are going to have to go through trouble in this world, there is no better place to be than the church.”  Frances loved her church.  She knew that it was through her church and through her many relationships in the church that she was going to be alright.  She was so looking forward to attending her circle meeting on the Monday after Walter’s death.

Frances’ tremendous faith was unwavering.  She was so strong, so hopeful.

Over and over and over again, with her life and with her faith, Frances has shared with us the love story of God— The love story of a God who promises each of us who have lost so much recently that we too, are going to be alright— The love story of a God of resurrection and of hope— The love story of a God who is in the business of transforming our sorrow into joy, our despair into hope and death into life— The love story of a God who has brought life, abundant and eternal to Walter and Frances through resurrection and who is working even now to transform our shock and grief and pain into peace.

I believe God has already done that for many of us. When we first heard the tragic news of Frances’ sudden death, we were shaken and dismayed beyond belief. But then the God of resurrection came, and the God of resurrection began to work. And it was not long before the look of bewilderment on our faces was transformed into great big smiles.

“Come on. Frances, we got to go!” he said.

“That man has been rushing me since the day I married him!” she quipped.

“Come on Frances, they have heard that story already ten times!”

“Walter, you are going to have to wait, because I am going to tell it again!”

And that is exactly what she did.

She told us one more time the story— the story of unseen things above— the story of Jesus and his glory, the story of Jesus and his love.  She loved to tell the story, because she knew it to be true.  It satisfied her longings as nothing else can do.

My prayer for the Blackley family and for all of us who grieve is a simple one. Remember the love story of God which was shared over and over again by this beautiful woman.  May the love story of God, which was Frances’ story become our story.  May this story fill us with courage and with strength. And may we spend the rest of our days sharing this story with others, until that day comes when we will see the couple again face to face, as we will one day see God face to face.

We’re Small, but We Can Do Some Big Things!

Mustard-Seed-Faith-by-CRILuke 17:3-6 NRSV

As Luke begins his gospel by addressing Theophilus, I want to begin the sermon this morning addressing Luke.

Dear Luke:

Thank you for your careful investigation and for the very orderly account you gave us so that we may know the truth concerning the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However, on this World Communion Sunday, on the behalf of millions of Christians spread across this globe, and especially on the behalf of a handful of Christians here in Farmville, North Carolina, I would like to voice a concern that many of us have. (Sounds pretty tactful so far, don’t you think? Because here comes the boom!)

Luke, my dear brother in Christ, you are killing us. I mean, brother come on! For five weeks now you have been asking us to do some very big things! You have told us that if we want to be disciples of Jesus it is going to mean losing ourselves, denying ourselves, being a community that is always more concerned about others, about the outsider, than we are about ourselves.  It means having a strong passion for the poor, those we regard as “the least of these.” You have even told us that following Jesus involves a cross and we are going to have to carry it! Brother, come on!

Luke, during these five weeks, we have listened as you have shared some pretty outlandish parables of Jesus. And yes, although some revealed that there is nothing in this world that can separate us from the grace of God, which was rather comforting, they also re-emphasized that Jesus wants us to extend this same grace and to all people, which, quite frankly makes us rather uncomfortable. And last Sunday, you even had the audacity to bring Hell into it. You warned us that if we continued to believe that we were more blessed and favored than others, one day, we might find ourselves in flames begging one of those “others” for a sip of water!

So, come on Luke, enough already. We simply cannot take it anymore. We just can’t handle it. You are asking far too much from us! Being a community of love and forgiveness for all people is just too messy, too hard, too risky, and takes too much of our time. There’s just so much pride we can swallow at one time. And besides, we have enough of our own problems to worry about.

We have our own kids to take care of. Luke, I am not sure if you know about these things, but we have these things called soccer, football, volleyball, cross country, cheerleading and dance. And some of our kids have special needs, and then on top of that, there are our parents who are getting on up there in age with their own special needs. And did we mention that we have full-time jobs?

Oh, yes, there are some of us who are retired, but we too have our own needs. The truth is some of us are just too tired and too old to keep doing all these things that Jesus demands. You ask us to deny ourselves and carry a cross, when just trying to survive each day is like carrying a cross.

And Luke, have you seen our church lately? Have you seen how small we have become these days? We just don’t have the resources that we once had. So many good people have passed away. We have lost too many hard workers, too many teachers, too many people with some deep pockets, if you know what I mean. And have you seen our building? It is over 100 years old! So many repairs, renovations are needed. It is about all we can just do to keep it up.

So Luke, with all due respect, if you really need us to do more than we are doing now, if you want us to be more that we already are, if you really want us to reach out to others, sacrifice, be a community of love and forgiveness for all, and on top of all of that carry a cross, then something is gonna have to give. You are going to have to find a way to give us some more faith, because there is just too little left here. Sincerely, your friend and brother in Christ, Jarrett Banks

After Jesus finished speaking about the need to forgive people who have wronged them not once, but seven times, the disciples, like a crowd of exasperated members of a small, struggling old church in a small town in Eastern North Carolina, said: “Come on Jesus. You are killing us. Enough already. We simply cannot take it anymore. We just can’t handle it. You are asking far too much from us! If you really want us to do more, you need to “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).

It is then that Jesus responded with some very good news: “If you had the faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

And to really understand just how good this news is we need to understand something about the Greek language and the use of the word “if”. In the Greek, it is used two different ways. One is to express a condition contrary to a fact, “If I were you.” The second way is to express a condition according to the fact, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” Here, Jesus is using the latter. In the original Greek, Jesus was saying: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed,” (And you do have it) then you can do some very big and miraculous things!

When the exasperated disciples got to a point when something just had to give, when they just did not believe they had enough of what it takes to be the people Jesus was calling them to be, they said: “Then, Jesus, increase our faith!”

Jesus responded: “Here’s the good news! I don’t have to increase it, because it only takes a little to do some very big things. And since, by the grace of God, you have a little, (you would not be following me if you didn’t) although your numbers are small, although you have very little left in the tank, in fact, I know that some of you are currently running on fumes, I have already given you what you need to do some very big things. If fact, as small as you are, as frail as some of you are, as uneducated and misinformed some are, although you constantly misunderstand what I have been teaching you, although some of you will even betray me, others will deny me, and when the going gets tough all may desert me, I have given you all that you need to change the world!

Night is falling. Jesus has been teaching out on a hillside. And the crowd that showed up that day, well, they were getting hungry.

The disciples with a little panic in their voices insist: “Jesus, there’s a thousand hungry people out there. We need to send them back to town so they can buy something to eat.”

Jesus asks, “But tell me what do you have?”

“Jesus, something’s got to give because we have very little. Just a few loaves and two miserable little fish.”

Jesus takes what they have, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it.  And, the good news is: it is enough.

However, that is not the end of the story.  Although that would be enough, there is more.  We read where “all ate and all were filled.”  They were all fulfilled, all satisfied.  They just didn’t receive something to “tie them over” until they got back into town.  They ate until they were full and satisfied.

But the story doesn’t even in end there.  They took up what was left over and 12 baskets were filled. The truth is: there was not enough.  There was more than enough. There was not only fulfillment and satisfaction, but there was a surplus. The good news is: This is simply the way it is with Jesus.

All of ye of little faith, those of us who complain that we are just too small, too old, too tired, to transform this church, to transform this community, and to change our world, this good news that Jesus always gives us more than enough is not new news to us.

Let’s take just a few minutes now and think about it.  Let’s go back in time several years. Remember that time before the divorce or separation, before the diagnosis, before you lost your job, before the flood, before the tornado, before the miscarriage, before the accident, before your child was lost, before your spouse died.  During that time before the pain, before the grief, imagine that God came to you in a dream and revealed every hardship you would have to endure in your life.  How would you have responded?

I know how I would have responded. God, you are killing me. There is just no way. Come on God, enough already. Something will have to give. There’s just no way I can do it. I simply do not have what it takes. If you really want me to make it, Lord, you are going to have to increase my faith!

And Jesus would say, “I don’t have to. I have already given you what you need.” And guess what, the good news is, and we knew it all the while, Jesus is absolutely right.

On this World Communion Sunday, we have gathered with Christians all over the world around a very small but very holy table. From this table, we take into our hands what may be one of the smallest, tiniest pieces of bread that we have ever held, and we put what resembles a mere crumb into our mouths, and we eat it.. And then we take the smallest of cups, and sip the smallest amount of juice.  It is just a small taste really, but the good news is: it is enough. No, the good news is: it is more than enough. Amen.