Last Sunday I got a call at 11 a.m. It was Rachel Pater calling from her home town church (denomination to remain unnamed). It took several minutes before she could form a proper sentence through her sobs. Finally in a shaky voice, this came out: "I'm at my parent's church ... they are doing communion ... and I'm not allowed to take it." Having spent the last year in such a deeply sacramental community where all freely receive the gifts of God, Pater was devastated at being kept from the table. I texted her later to ask if I could share this story with some of the other HFASSers and she agreed.
"Pater called me sobbing," I told them, "because she wasn't allowed to take communion at her parent's church this morning". Stuart immediately responded, "Well then, we'll have to take her the Eucharist at the airport when she gets home." Of course.
When Pater got off the escalator, she saw a sign reading "Pater" on one side and "Child of God" on the other. I then lied just a tiny bit and asked if she wouldn't mind if we just popped upstairs because someone had asked me about the chapel and I wanted to make sure I knew where it was.
So at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday night, eight people were waiting in the aesthetically questionable "inter-faith prayer chapel" at Denver International Airport to give our sister in Christ the gifts of God that are truly for her and for all.
This is how they will know that you are my disciples: that you take my body and blood to the airport. Amen?
Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran pastor living in Denver, Colorado, where she serves the emerging church, House for all Sinners and Saints. She blogs at www.sarcasticlutheran.com and is the author of Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television.