One week after Hurricane Katrina I was walking through the downtown River Center offering pastoral care to a family who was in the shelter which housed over 5,000 of the evacuees from New Orleans. A woman, after seeing me in my clericals, approached me and asked, “Father can you bring us communion?” My initial response was “Yes, but you probably think I am a Roman Catholic priest.” “Yes”, she said, “ but it times like this there is no time for us to worry about our theological differences! We are hungry for the Bread of Heaven!” At that point we celebrated the Eucharist right next to her sleeping cot and dozens of people lined up to receive communion.
There comes a time in all our lives when our denominational barriers fall apart when people “want to see Jesus.” When you get pushed up against life’s wall, it doesn’t much matter anymore whether you eat meat on Friday, or can recite the Apostles Creed, or worry about the theological differences around Holy Communion. When the world caves in on you it no longer matters whether you are Protestant or Catholic, Christian or Jew, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or Episcopalian. There are some things in life you just can’t get around.
“We want to see Jesus!” they said. And I invite you today to come and see Jesus. Bring your struggles, wounds, doubts, and hopes with you. Come and see Jesus.
And people are still saying it today!