It’s time to go

Joy_chuch b&w

It’s Sunday. And better than being Sunday, it’s Communion Sunday.  And I love Communion Sunday. I love it because it’s about people of Christ coming together and eating together and honoring the sacrifice at the Cross.  It’s about people who love Jesus pausing in the busyness of our lives to remember that He died and rose again and is coming again.  And we do that together, in community.  Communion Sunday is a big deal.

But today, for the first time ever, I didn’t take communion on Communion Sunday.  And my heart hurts, and it’s a big deal.

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It’s not unusual these days for me to pick a fight with Jesus on a Sunday morning while I’m getting a shower, or putting on my make-up, or ironing my shirt.  Every Sunday feels hard to face from under my bedcovers, so I pretty much wake up sour.  I know that I’m going to have to face again the greater ramifications of the blow our church took this summer and is still trying to recover from.  And it means facing gossip and angry words, disappointed parents, and hurting teenagers.  It means that I’m going to pour all of myself into the day and go to bed at night feeling like I’ve left someone somewhere disappointed or let down.  It means I’m going to have more conversations about some upcoming event than I am about how God is showing up in the lives of the people sharing my pew.  And it means that I’m going to be busy working rather than living into the Sabbath and rest.

So this morning was really just par for the course, because as I got ready for church Jesus and I were in the throes of a pretty intense dialogue regarding church. Only this time I did a lot less talking and a lot more listening to that Still Small Voice, which I have been stubbornly ignoring for months.  And in the quiet came four small words.

“It’s time to go.”

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When I walked into the sanctuary this morning, I immediately saw the table set for the Lord’s Supper, silver trays full of pieces of unleavened bread and tiny cups of grape juice stacked tall, and I knew immediately that I wouldn’t be partaking with the congregation today.

Because I couldn’t come to God’s table to be with His people when Jesus and I are in the throes of an intense dialogue about church and what church is about. And it’s possible that my season at this church is over, and that makes my heart hurt.

But, it’s not over because of the gossip and the angry words and the disappointed parents and the hurting teenagers.  In truth, it’s those parents and those teenagers that make me hesitate in going, because I hurt with them and want to help them and I love them more than they will ever know.

No, it’s possible that this season is over simply because God’s leading me elsewhere. And if I’m honest, God has been leading me elsewhere for a long time, since before the blow of this summer, with the very first out of state job offer two years ago.  I think maybe it’s time to start paying attention to that prompting, to those four small words.

“It’s time to go.”

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7 thoughts on “It’s time to go

  1. I’ve been where you are and I’m praying for you. I know the hurt and pain of which you speak and those four words…it’s time to go. Doing God’s work is a delicate and heart wrenching thing. I know that there are no words that will help…but I will be praying that God shows you very clearly where He has been working around you! Much love to you, sister.

  2. I wish I could be sitting across from you reading this on my computer so I could look up at you and you see my eyes, red from similar shower time shouting matches. I don’t have words that will work any magic…but I get where you are and many of the why’s and moreso, if I can be so bold from across the internet, who you are.

    …and I’ve heard (recently) that voice say those words, too. So, my friend, please imagine my arms around you and my lips praying, “Help, Amber, God. Help.” I’ll be praying them a lot.

    1. Why, that sounds a prayer befitting Anne Lamott. 🙂 In all seriousness though, I’m grateful for your boldness and the read you have on what I’m about, across the internet or otherwise. I will live into those prayers & thank God for your friendship & care! (And pray that at some point we get to hug & have coffee IRL…and soon!)

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