Monday, March 05, 2007

The body and the blood

I've always grown up taking communion once a quarter. Four times a year we would pass the silver plates through the pews, four times a year I would chew on a dry square of bread, four times a year my hands would shake as I pulled a plastic cup filled with juice from its slot--not because I was emotional, but because I was afraid I would spill it. I heard the familar words--"Do this in remembrance of me"--but my mind was usually on what was for lunch, or how much longer the service would last.

I don't blame my church for my poor attitude. I just never fully grasped the importance of what I was doing. It took me years to get to a place where I viewed the Lord's Supper with any kind of reverence. And my heart's still not where it should be.

But this Sunday, I had a moment of clarity. The church I attend now takes communion much more frequently, maybe even once a month, but it's a little different each time. Sometimes we stay in our seats and pass the sacraments. Other times we walk to the front. Once we walked to the back. I've knelt below a cross, stood in praise, sat in silence. This Sunday, as I walked back to my seat, a bit of cracker in one hand, a thimble-full of juice in the other, I felt broken. I prayed fitfully, but my words felt jumbled. So finally I silenced my tongue by placing the breaad in my mouth. And I felt like the Lord was just telling me "Be quiet. Take of my body." So I did. I chewed and quieted my mind. The bread was dry, scratching my throat, making me thirst. "Drink." The cool, sweet liquid filled my mouth as tears pooled in my eyes.

This Do In Remembrance of Me.


Blogger gretalynn said...

I'm so glad you've come to this realization. Through my years in the ministry, I have found that among many believers, the Lord's Supper has become the most nonchalant activity in their lives. So many people simply equate it with "I'm baptized so I can do it" without ever grasping the beauty of Christ's words.

Thanks for your post. I have a vision of changing the way we think about this--starting with the kids at my church.

Love you girl!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Chip, the pastor at Cave Spring, takes time to emphasize the importance of coming to the Lord's Table. Honestly, at first my impatience gets in the way and I just wish we were done. But I listen, and I get over myself, and I'm so glad to have had those truths reiterated.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Tom 1st said...

Glad to hear you're thinking about this subject. Most people don't. They just do the ritual.

I fear, in the Baptist churches I've been a part of, we have no idea what is really going on with the communion.

For the early church, it was in integral part of their communal worship. We've made it a burden that keeps us at church an extra 10 minutes.

2:05 PM  

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