Our district weekend retreat was in progress. Everyone was full of joy and looking forward to communion with LWML sisters during the retreat worship service. Months before, one board member had volunteered to bring the bread for communion. You guessed it, she didn’t make a note and forgot all about the commitment.
As the altar was being prepared for the service, the woman was asked, “Where’s the bread for communion?” The woman immediately froze and then began to silently weep. How could she forget something so important, so vital? There was a stunned silence, yet there was no reproach from the woman who was doing the altar care. Everyone stopped for a moment, not sure what to do. There were no stores close by, and even if there were, there was not enough time to go and buy bread.
A small voice from an onlooker said, “I have my small loaf of special gluten-free bread.” It was as if the voice of the small boy with the loaves and fishes had miraculously been heard once again. The forgetful woman could not help prepare the bread for communion, as she had other essential tasks to do before the service. The altar care woman volunteered to cut the small loaf of bread into tiny squares for over 150 people.
No one else at the service, or for the rest of the retreat, knew there had almost been no bread for communion. The altar care woman never shared the near disaster. She simply continued to grace the woman who forgot the bread with smiles, love, and total forgiveness. How many times can one person apologize? How many times can one person forgive a sin? Profuse apologies were put to a stop by the statement, “It’s okay. With God’s help, we will make this bread work.” Smiles and a hug followed the compassionate statement.
Amazingly, there was communion bread left over from that very small loaf.
Read Matthew 6:5–14, Acts 20:32, 2 Corinthians 12:9, and Hebrews 4:16.
“Forgiveness and grace” are words from God our Father that we hear every Sunday when we attend church, either online or in person. In our eyes and in our mind, we often see big crushing sins, little sins, and in-between sins. However, in God’s eyes we are all sinners, and sin is sin.
What sins have you been able to forgive without constantly reminding the person that you have forgiven them?
What sins have you forgiven and said, “It’s okay,” but still had the eye-roll or the condemning slight shaking of your head? Is that truly forgiveness?
The woman who forgot the communion bread was covered with grace and forgiveness. The woman who forgave? She modeled Christ. It is a very small, simple story amidst all the stories of sin in the world. Yet, as Jesus meets people where they are in the moment, so He met those retreat women in their moment of need with His provision, forgiveness, and grace.
Dear Jesus, thank You for covering us with Your forgiveness and grace. Help us to finish the race and complete the tasks You, Lord Jesus, have given us. Enable us to testify through our own actions, the Good News of God’s grace and salvation. In Your holy name. Amen.
LWML Chesapeake District
We would love to hear YOUR stories! Please send them to the Vice President of Gospel Outreach here.
Thanks from the Gospel Outreach Committee!