Last Sunday as I sat in church, something happened that made me smile—something simple, unexpected and beautiful.
We were celebrating the Lord’s Supper together. It’s not something we do together frequently, but somehow that makes the remembering more particular and significant. The way we go about it is not very formal, but somehow that pared-back plainness makes it easier to focus on the essentials as once more we read the biblical narrative of Christ’s death for us—his willing sacrifice to save us from the guilt and penalty of our sin.
We use tiny cubes of bread (rice crackers for the gluten-free folk) and Lilliputian plastic cups of grape juice, somewhat curious 21st century representations of our Saviour’s broken body and shed blood.
Because we’re a pretty big crowd when we’re all together, it takes time to share the meal around to everyone, so one quiet and modest woman in our church family plays the piano as we wait. It’s the most public thing she ever does among us, but she serves us with thoughtful grace and skill, selecting familiar songs that emphasise Jesus’ work of salvation and playing them with delicate clarity.
Most Sundays she sits near the back of the auditorium with her elderly father and her young adult son who has Down’s syndrome. She ensures that they are part of our fellowship, singing with us and listening to the faithful preaching of the good news about Jesus.
Last Sunday as we waited for all to be served, the final song she played for us was one many could sing in their hearts: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Only a few bars into the song, her father began to sing along.
Softly and distinctly his light tenor voice carried throughout the space. The clear, simple words communicated profound truth to us, the unexpected singing reminded us of the power of that truth and the beautiful rendition once more confirmed that salvation through Jesus is God’s gift to every ‘little one’ who trusts in him.
I have loved this song since childhood and it has never failed to give me joy. But now its simplicity is sharper, deeper and more achingly lovely than I ever thought possible.
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