Monday, September 26, 2011

Reversion to Form and a New Angle

Recently I had the opportunity to serve communion. In our church we often have it in the form of a 'station.' As part of a time where people freely move about -- in this case we actually had 'stations' all over the church for people to interact with -- people can come when they feel that it's time and receive the communion elements and a blessing. I actually don't know how many other churches do it this way and so that's why I include a description of it.

Anyhow, it was my responsibility to serve the 'wine' -- in this case, cranberry juice -- and, as it was on my heart to pray for new vision for everyone who came, that was my part of the blessing. I suppose the other feature of communion in our church that should be mentioned is that we don't really have a standardized set of things to say as we serve the bread and the 'wine.' Given this reality, I found myself reverting to form, and using the I Corinthians 11 passage just like they always did in the church I grew up in.

  • In the same way, he also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, every time you drink it, in remembrance of me." For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
 Sums it up pretty well, yes? Yes, except there was something else I wanted conveyed from the passage where Jesus says that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood we have no part of him. Something along the lines of through taking communion, we are taking in Jesus himself into our whole selves and on the surface, the above remembrance seems a mere funerary pronouncement. But I used it anyway and it started to mean more than at first. The thing is, Jesus isn't dead, so remembering him is different than remembering anyone else. Yes, he died, and we remember his suffering on our behalf, but then we also remember that he's alive and right here with us while we take communion. From there we can go straight into receiving his essence, his presence, into every part of us, spirit, soul, body. Even our muscles can remember him.

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