It is a moment I will never forget,
and one I often remember.
I was 12 years old and going through confirmation.
Rev. Bill Pickett and Rev. Ken Miller were the pastor and associate pastor leading us
on our confirmation journey at Casselberry UMC in Casselberry, Florida.
Part of that journey involved encountering different worship experiences in other faith communities.
Pentecostal, Greek Orthodox, and a service at a Jewish synagogue.
While I have flashes of memories from the other services,
it is the service at the synagogue which has formed and continues to shape my life.
I remember sitting in the pew and waiting for the service to begin.
I heard the music and the doors behind us open.
The Rabbi entered, prayer shawl draped across his shoulders.
He was carrying the scrolls of the Torah.
That’s when it happened.
As the Rabbi walked down the aisle, carrying the Torah,
people sitting at the ends of the pews began reaching out and touching, some even kissing,
the tassels and the hem of his prayer shawl as he passed by.
I was overwhelmed with awe.
The honor they were showing. The reverence they were giving.
I immediately knew that their actions had absolutely nothing to do with the Rabbi
and everything to do with what he carried.
He was bearing Almighty God’s word into that place.
He was carrying Almighty God’s word.
God’s word was holy. God’s word was sacred.
God’s word was gift.
So holy, yet so freely given.
So sacred, that simply touching or kissing the hem of the
one who carried God’s word, was blessing, was worship.
I had never before seen honor for God’s word expressed and lived out in that way.
I will never forget that moment, and I will always remember it.
I remember it every time I say,
The word of God for the people of God, thanks be to God!
I remember it every time I pick up the Bible to read when I am seeking guidance, comfort, or help.
I remember it every time I turn to God’s word out of duty,
not feeling that I have the time, or even want to take the time.
I remember that moment when I neglect reading God’s word
because I have given the busyness of life the honor of priority.
God’s word is Holy. God’s word is Sacred.
God’s word is Gift.
So Holy, yet, so freely given.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.
I will never forget and always remember that moment.
And now, it is our turn.
Now, the music of life is playing and God has forever opened the doors.
It is our turn. It is our call.
God’s Word spoken over us. God’s Word spoken into us.
God’s Word forever written on our hearts.
It is now our sacred honor to carry God’s Word into the world.
Almighty God, Word made flesh, may our lives bear You, proclaim You, and share You
in ways that others will never forget and always remember.
With words of thanks to God for you,
If you would like to view past editions of Grace for the Journey, follow this link: https://fairwaydistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/