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What to do during Distribution 

It happens every Sunday.

Every Sunday, we celebrate Holy Communion. God's people gather around the Body and Blood of our Savior, either in tables or in continuous distribution. And consequently, every Sunday you have ten to fifteen minutes of sitting in your pew, not necessarily doing much of anything.

Let's take just a moment to notice how counter-cultural this is. Our society is constantly on the move. We're always trying to be more efficient, more effective. If someone has to stand in line for two minutes at the grocery store, they're probably checking their phone. The notion that there is fifteen minutes of down time more or less built right into the worship service is, well, kind of crazy—culturally speaking. And yet, there it is. 

So don't misunderstand my intentions here. I'm not trying to give you ideas for "maximizing" the precious few moments during the Distribution, as if you had to squeeze still more productivity out of your day. This isn't about productivity, but piety.

And so take this brief list more in the spirit of suggestions for devotion—especially if you find yourself tempted to whip out your smart phone and start scrolling Facebook. But without further ado, here are 5 ideas for what to do during the Distribution of Holy Communion.

1. Sing

Let's start with the most obvious. We have Distribution hymns. Why not sing them? And to pull the curtain back a little bit, I do my best (working with our musicians) to choose especially sing-able hymns for during Distribution; of course, I want them all to be sing-able, but particularly then. You might even consider bringing your hymnal with you as you are coming up for Communion so you can sing while you await your turn. 

2. Read

Distribution is a time when many people will get caught up on the announcements, but this is also a great time to read over the Bible passages for the day. Read and reflect more deeply on the Sunday's Scriptures, or look ahead to the readings for the following Sunday. That pew Bible is there for your use!

3. Pray

These few moments are a natural time for prayer, and the hymnal itself is a great resource in this regard. On the inside front cover there are several Prayers for Worship—for thanksgiving after receiving the Sacrament, blessing on God's Word, etc. Then, further into the hymnal (pp. 305-318) there are dozens of other prayers. And of course you can simply pray from your heart, perhaps remembering your fellow parishioners before the Lord as you see them walk past. 

4. Journal

The time during Distribution is also a great opportunity to reflect on the sermon or even meditate upon your week. Take a few moments just to jot some thoughts that stand out. You might also consider incorporating "visual faith" practices, whether that be coloring, drawing, or otherwise expressing your thoughts and prayers in pictures. In all these ways you can further "inwardly digest" the Word. 

5. Nothing

To circle back to where we started, there is something beautiful about a blissful few minutes where you don't have to do anything. Just sit and think, look at the symbolism in our architecture, listen to the music, simply be. Now, if you have kids with you in the pew, I get it—these might actually be the most anxiety-inducing minutes in the service. So if you don't have kids with you, may I make a suggestion? Maybe you occasionally say to that stressed mom, Can I take your little one (or ones) out for a moment? That way, you can each in your turn enjoy—even if just for a minute—that most rare of gifts in today's busy world. 


Sunday's sermon

On Sunday we had the privilege to hear God's Word proclaimed by Rev. Dr. John Nunes, as he preached on the Gospel from Luke 10.25-37.

Listen to Sunday's sermon

News & Notes

  • I couldn't be more proud of our church. This weekend I brought before you (not without some consternation) an opportunity to help a family in need in our Arcadia community—and you responded. Did you respond! We raised nearly $6,000. You read that right. The mom was totally speechless. Thank you so much for your generosity. Trinity Lutheran truly has TLC for Arcadia!
  • And while I'm at it, we heard back from the folks at Lighthouse Pregnancy Care Center. All that change you put into baby bottles added up to $579.56! What a simple, fun way to bless a vital ministry in our area.  
  • This weekend I have some friends in town—a few guys with whom I get together every summer. This year, of course, I wanted to show off Arcadia. Other than worship (they'll be there), where do you think I should take them? They're reasonably active guys, but we won't be doing anything too crazy. Send me your ideas! Also: if anyone has a couple bikes that I can borrow for the weekend, please let me know. 

From the Church Year

This Saturday, July 20th, the Church Year commemorates the great prophet Elijah. From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

"The prophet Elijah, whose name means, My God is Yahweh [the Lord], prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel, mostly during the reign of Ahab (874853 B.C.). Ahab, under the influence of his pagan wife Jezebel, had encouraged the worship of Baal throughout his kingdom, even as Jezebel sought to get rid of the worship of Yahweh. Elijah was called by God to denounce this idolatry and to call the people of Israel back to the worship Yahweh as the only true God (as he did in 1 Kgs 18:2040). Elijah was a rugged and imposing figure, living in the wilderness and dressing in a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt (2 Kgs 1:8). He was a prophet mighty in word and deed. Many miracles were done through Elijah, including the raising of the dead (1 Kgs 17:1724), and the effecting of a long drought in Israel (1 Kgs 17:1). At the end of his ministry, he was taken up into heaven as Elisha, his successor, looked on (2 Kgs 2:11). Later on the prophet Malachi proclaimed that Elijah would return before the coming of the Messiah (Mal 4:56), a prophecy that was fulfilled in the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist (Mt 11:14)."

"And Elijah came near to all the people and said, 'How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.' And the people did not answer him a word."

– 1 Kings 18.21

Looking ahead to Sunday

The 6th Sunday after Pentecost
  • Readings
    • Old Testament lesson—Genesis 18.1-10
    • Epistle lesson—Colossians 1.21-29
    • Gospel—Luke 10.38-42

+ Grace & Peace +

Pastor Tinetti

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