My godparents owned a sailboat that they kept in the Caribbean Sea. They lived on the Glory Be each winter from January through April.
It was Holy Thursday. They were anchored in a cove that was inhabited by several different yachts from countries all over the world.
The weather had turned rough as evening came on and the water rushed and beat against the sides of the sail boat causing it to rock and buck. But they were safely anchored and having their sea legs under them they carried on as if the waters were completely calm.
Roland got the wine while Joan got the bread and as they sat in the gloaming they remembered the night on which Jesus was betrayed and they broke the bread and ate it and they drank the wine in memory of him.
Joan looked out at the other boats moored around them and wondered how many others were remembering that this was a holy night. And then she knew what God was asking her and Roland to do.
“Rol, lets take communion to some of the other boats. We can ask them if they’d like to share in the Lord’s supper.” She poured the wine into a glass and covered it over with an unused paper cupcake wrapper. She broke up some bread and put it in a bag and off they went in their dingy to the yacht that was closest to them. It was an American yacht. They pulled up along side and called up to the couple on board, asking they would like to share communion. But the couple just laughed at them and told them no.
Undaunted, they then approached a sail boat that was flying a German flag. Having spent time in Germany after WW11, both Roland and Joan knew German. But it had been many years since they had spoken it with any kind of regularity. They pulled beside the boat and called up in German. A man put his head over and very quickly they realized that his English was much better than their German. So they asked if they would like to share in the Lord’s supper on this special night. And the man answered, “Yes!” he called to his family; his wife and two sons. When they appeared on deck they all knelt down and the father began to recite those beloved words, “ On the night when he was betrayed, Jesus took the bread....” And in the beautiful rhythm of the the rocking boat and the gentle quality of the spoken German words, God revealed himself to Joan and Roland and also to this good family. The father served his wife. The wife served her oldest son. The son served his younger brother and the youngest son served his father. When they were done, and had handed the wine and bread back over the side of the boat to Joan and Roland, the father said, “We are all one body.” And Roland and Joan knew that too.
They continued on their way from boat to boat and several others appreciated the kind act and thanked them for their willingness to share.
They had made a holy night more holy, with love and service and reaching out to those around them.
It would have been enough.