Thursday, January 8, 2009

A "Maxwell House Moment" to Remember

As we celebrated New Year’s Eve recently, I was reminded of a funny incident that happened last year. On that New Year’s Eve we were in an RV resort in Arizona where we were spending some time as we tried our wings at being snowbirds. We joined friends who were also snowbirding to attend the New Year’s Eve church service at the local affiliate of our church body. As we entered the sanctuary, the pastor jokingly commented that there were “lots of seats down front,” so we decided to sit in the front pewt. It was a good service with lots of singing and a message that I found meaningful. The last part of the service offered communion for those who wished to commune at the dawning of a new year. A man and woman who served as ushers for the evening prepared the chancel for communion by closing the altar rail gate and placing a kneeling pad in the gate area. Then they returned to the aisles to usher people from the pews down the center aisle to commune at the altar rail. As communicants departed from the altar rail, they placed their used communion cups in baskets at the sides of the chancel area and proceeded down the side aisles to return to their seats. When all who wished to commune had gone to the altar rail, the ushers went to the altar rail to commune. As they finished, the man took both their cups and walked over to deposit them in the basket on our side of the church while the organist went to the altar rail as the last communicant. After the man dropped the two small cups into the basket, he licked his finger. I looked at my friend whose grin told me she had also observed this. I could not resist whispering, “It’s like Maxwell House--good to the last drop.” At that, both of us struggled to keep from bursting into laughter; but I must say we did an admirable job of not controlling our need to laugh out loud until we were outside the building. As we discussed the incident later, we decided this “Maxwell House Moment” would be a memory we’d enjoy for years to come. Joy comes in small things--open your memory book and laugh a little.

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