By Aaron Monts
Joshua stood up and walked to the front, where the bread and the juice were waiting. A huge smile swept across my face and tears welled up in my eyes. Only a week ago we had talked directly, one-on-one about Jesus. Joshua wrestled with how to integrate his Jewish faith with this emerging understanding about who Jesus was and is. He struggled with the intellectual side of a faith that believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and yet was overwhelmed by the real-life stories of resurrection that were all around him on display in our church body. He stood up and walked to the front, where the body of Christ and the blood of Christ waited to greet him.
Communion, the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, whatever you may prefer to call it, is a moment of decision for us as a church body. It is our altar call. Every week we participate in a better story laid out before us: a story of death, burial, and resurrection. In the week since our conversation, the Holy Spirit who had been at work in and around Joshua in our church community for more than a year, broke through. He stood up and walked to the front, where Jesus waited to greet him.
“While I may struggle with the intellectual realities of the resurrection,” he told me later, “I cannot deny that I see the resurrection lived out every day here in this church community. I want to be a part of that story. I want to be a part of writing that story.”
That afternoon, with his small group surrounding him, Joshua shared his journey of faith. He thanked each person, one-by-one and in detail, for how they helped write a new story in his life. Together we walked into the cold waters of the Pacific, and in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, he emerged a new creation, with a new and better story to tell.
Aaron Monts was founding pastor of IKON Christian Community in San Francisco, California. In 2015 he began working toward starting a new church in Seattle, Washington. He is currently working on his PhD at Johnson University, Knoxville, Tennessee.