William Kyle - South Africa
The women of the St. Mungo's Braynston Uniting Church (SMB) Women's Association have invited me to perform communion for their monthly gathering. I have had an opportunity to commune with these ladies twice thus far, and I always enjoy my time with them.
The women of the association are comprised of women who are mostly over retirement age, along with a few younger women between the ages of 35 and 50. I have grown to love them and they appear to have grown to like me. The ladies seem to enjoy the elements of “high church,” thus they love when I come to serve them communion wearing a robe and one of my beautiful Lydia’s House stoles. See, their pastor and his assistant don’t wear robes and very seldom do they wear a clergy collar.
Since we were in the middle of Easter Sundays I used an Easter Tide theme to help us with our Sacrament focus. The scripture that we used was Revelation 20:1-6. I was excited about using this particular scripture because it was talking about newness, blessed newness, a newness that comes with Easter and resurrection, spiritual newness. It always feels good when you allow we to bring joy and remembrance to Christ table.
The Service of Communion felt marvelous. The women of the association expressed feelings of gratitude for my sharing and for wearing such a beautiful robe. As I was shaking hand, exchanging kisses and passing on blessings, I noticed that one of the women seemed to be patiently waiting while the others slowly left. I remembered her I always felt that she had to have been one lovely younger woman. Now she is about 70 or so, white and still very nice looking. She had a book in her hands that was fat enough to be a one volume extensive Old and New Testament commentary.
As she came closer to me I could see that the book she was carrying was a Bible, an African Heritage Bible. She lifted it up towards my face and asked, “Are you familiar with this Bible?” She lifted it up towards my face and asked, “Are you familiar with this Bible?” Yes, I replied. “Do you believe what it’s` saying?” Well, while in seminary I had some highly regarded Theologians emphatically express that Jesus was indeed black. Thus, I did my own research and found that such is more than likely true.
I didn’t know what to make of this conversation. I was so surprised that I forgot to ask her, where did you get that Bible from? She said that she had read it, its claims. Then she stated that she wanted to give it to me, and then she stated, “I would love for you to speak to the association about this.” I replied that I would love to speak to the women about this topic, and could I bring my wife with me (the women know Veronica, she spoke to the women on one occasion). “Of course,” she replied, as she turned and left the sanctuary.
One thing that God has shown me throughout my Christian journey, you may never know what I am planting through your presence. Think about it at some point, what does your presence bring?
Rev. William Kyle
William Kyle serves with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He serves as administrative assistant to the general secretary.