My heart is filled with gratitude this morning. My soul is overflowing with thanksgiving for the grace of our God and for his good people here at Central. The Lord showered his mercy on us here yesterday. His Holy Spirit met us here — as promised, as always — and blessed us as a congregation.

Yesterday was the first day our sisters in Christ served the communion meal during a Sunday assembly at Central. It was a special day, a highly significant day. And, at the same time, it felt so normal for us.

Four of our graduated High School seniors, two young ladies and two young men leaving town this week for their first years of college, read the Scriptures and led the prayers. A dozen of our families — moms and dads, sons and daughters, those too young to carry a tray and teenagers who are almost too cool, grandparents with their grandkids — walked the aisles, serving the body and blood of Christ to our church.

It was so new for us. And so familiar. Very emotional. Yet, sort of anti-climactic.

It just felt so right. The readings and prayers were beautiful. The kids who served with their parents were super cute. It was very inter-generational. And only one tray was dropped in the back. It was a watershed moment in the long life of this faithful church, but in so many ways it felt like a typical Sunday.

We believe that all Christians are gifted by God’s Holy Spirit — male and female, men and women, alike. We do believe that all Christians are called by God to exercise those gifts to build up the Church. And we value our families at Central. We go out of our way to encourage our young people and to honor our older people. We try to nurture an atmosphere where everybody feels like they belong at Central. So to see that kind of diversity scattered throughout the worship center, serving the communion meal, didn’t feel very different from what we always do at Central.

Our sisters have been singing solos, reading Scripture, baptizing friends and family, blessing teens, making announcements, and encouraging our church in a variety of ways on Sunday mornings for years. Yesterday, they helped distribute the bread and the cup.

Yesterday we took another step in breaking down the barriers between men and women that were erected with our sin in Genesis 3. We added another important layer to our congregation’s testimony that all the barriers between us and God and between us and each other have been eradicated in Christ Jesus. We made a deeper commitment to proclaiming and practicing the Gospel in here.

And the Lord blessed us.

My heart is so full of gratitude this morning.