In the wedding of words and tune, Jaroslav Vajda and Carl F. Schalk, tell the story of worship in one stanza. It may be my favorite hymn.
“Now the silence Now the peace Now the empty hands uplifted”
We have little silence in our world and little of peace. We come before the Lord with empty hands with nothing to offer other than our great need.
“Now the kneeling Now the plea Now the Father’s arms in welcome”
Blessed is the church which has kneelers that with bowed knee and head we make our plea, “Father forgive.” And for sake of Jesus’ our Father welcomes us home and prepares a feast.
“Now the hearing Now the pow’r Now the vessel brimmed for pouring”
We feast on the word heard from scripture and pulpit. Now filled with the word, the cup on the altar and the bread is prepared.
“Now the body Now the blood Now the joyful celebration”
Christ’s body is placed into our uplifted hands. Our taste buds rejoice at the wine/blood.
“Now the wedding Now the songs Now the heart forgiven leaping”
The bride of Christ leaves the communion table. The wedding has begun to be completed when we see his face and hear, “Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”
Now the Spirit’s visitation Now the Son’s Epiphany Now the Father’s blessing Now Now Now”
There is no period, no ending. We go into our week living in the eternal present and presence of the Spirit, the Son, and in the blessing of the Father. Let it be so among us.