This post will reflect my opinions on the elements used in our practice of Communion–meaning the bread and the grape juice (we don’t use wine in order to make this available to all, including recovering alcoholics). Our tradition says that the common bread of the people should be used for Communion and that when the pastor breaks the bread in front of the congregation it should be done visibly for all to see and experience. Communion bread, in my opinion, should be large and its breaking be dramatic. Just as the wine should be poured for all to see.

So, Imagine me, one Sunday, preaching my heart out, preaching about how huge God’s love is for us, how that is expressed in the extravagant feast we have set before us, how there is enough bread and wine (grape juice) for us all and then some, how we come to this Table hungry, where we are fed. Imagine me doing this and afterward, as I am going to stand behind the Table…we find out that there is a surprise this week. And the communion platters are unveiled and underneath them I find this:

That, my friends, is a pre-packaged communion cup. Peel off the first layer and you find a wafer (which is always stale), and then peel off the second layer and you find grape juice that might be the most vile thing I have ever tasted.

I peel off the top layer, I raise it in the air, I proclaim that this is Christ’s body, broken for you, I break the tiny thing in half. And then it comes to the wine and there is nothing to pour, just a little tiny plastic glass of gross grape juice to raise.

It is embarrassing, really. To Jesus. I think he is rolling in his grave. Or doing somersaults in heaven, I guess.

Everyone gets their Communion-To-Go package and we crinkle the cellophane off the top and partake together. The visitors and probably some of the members are totally confused. The old people can’t get the cellophane off. And I am just embarrassed.

God’s love, really, is bigger than this. And we should have a giant, dramatic piece of bread to symbolize that.

And still, I am sure that God’s love comes through these silly little wafers and cups.

In the meantime, these Communion-To-Go packages might soon be available for your children’s lunch boxes.

Advertisements