I really enjoy magic tricks.  I am always fascinated how somebody could create an illusion that looks so real.  I love trying to figure out how they are done.  The prospect of solving such a puzzle is fascinating, although I’m not sure that I have ever completely figured one out.

However, I have watched a few of those behind the scenes shows where a rogue magician wears a masks and reveals the secrets behind several popular illusions.  And while I had always thought this would be exciting and exhilarating, it was actually pretty disappointing and ruined the illusions for me.  Knowing the trick took away the excitement.  Understanding the process ruined the magic.  I mean, that’s why I refused to see Magic Mike.  It is about magicians, right?

Anyway, I have recently had a similar experience at my church.  One way that I serve my church family is to help prepare for our observances of the Lord’s Supper.  I set up the table, fill the cups, and help to serve the elements to the congregation.  I have been doing this for almost two years.  Yet, during our most recent observance, I had a realization. 

For the last 24 months or so, I have been so busy in the hustle and bustle of getting things ready that I have not been able to focus on the meaning of communion.  Now that I have seen what goes on behind the scenes, it seems like the magic is gone. 

Yes, I enter into the observance with a prayerful heart and try to prepare myself to do these things as we have been commanded.  But in the back of my mind, I am running down the list of things that should have been done and hoping upon hope that nothing goes wrong with the execution of the ordinance.  I am trying to make sure that there is no reason for anybody else to be distracted from this sacred time, and that ultimately distracts me the entire time.

As I continue to process and pray about this, I am getting the feeling that there is nothing wrong with this scenario.  While the magic may be ruined in that I know the sacramental wine comes from a Great Value grape juice bottle, I can still observe the Lord’s Supper “in remembrance of [Jesus].”  And even if I am putting all of my energy into making sure I don’t drop the trays, I can still prayerfully prepare my heart to focus on the sacrifice of Christ.

No matter what distracts us or tries to draw our attention away from Jesus, we can choose to focus on Him.  No matter what we expect our experiences to be like, God will guide us to a place where He wants us to be We just have to be willing to ignore our comfort zones and follow Him.

And don't see Magic Mike.  Apparently, it's about strippers.

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