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“When the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them.”

~ Acts 19:11-20

The altar guild members at our congregation prepare the church for our weekly sharing of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist. They wear blue jackets, because their work is very important and people need to stay out of their way. A lot of their time is spent cleaning and folding linens and cloths. Some of these linens and cloths look like handkerchiefs, but they are cared for meticulously and with great detail.

I once overheard an altar guild training. The leader was reminding our new members that the same care must be taken with the linens used for the home communion taken to sick and shut-in members of the parish. She reminded the group that the bread and wine taken to these people would allow them, for a brief moment in time, to be free of their disease. When someone questioned how that could happen, she replied, “It cannot be explained. It is the peace that passes all understanding. And we are helping to deliver it, so do your very best.” 

And the washing and ironing began in earnest — and handkerchiefs were transformed into vehicles of grace.

Thanks to Connie Castillo, Diocese of Arizona, for sharing this. It is from Forward Day By Day and is dated “Thursday, August 8” but as it was a clipping she couldn’t provide the year or author.

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