I wrote in one of the early blogs of this year that this would be my space to write some thoughts – often just for my own benefit – so I can see them in words to think about. This is one of those. I’m not looking for agreement nor an argument, only to think about something more deeply. If it makes you think, great. If not, great.
I’ve been visiting with a friend at work recently about communion. I don’t know much about it other than what I read in the Bible so I’ve never studied it in it’s historical context. That said, my view of communion is that it is one of the most significant pieces of my worship, a centerpiece of why I am there. Because of that, it has led me to the idea that we have made the act of communion a very efficient process that I find hard to believe was ever meant to be efficient. We have the right number of men who travel the aisles passing the right number of trays with the right number of cups and then it’s on to the offering and the preacher. Yet, during that efficient process, we are remembering what Christ did on the cross. Would we even need a worship service if Christ had not been our sacrifice? With that question, I begin to wrestle with how we should “do” communion. 1 Corinthians refers to a meal, albeit a meal that the Corinthians have messed up, but still a meal. When Jesus was with the apostles telling them what the bread and the wine were for, they were at a meal. In my mind, that implies a much different setting than what I see on Sunday mornings today.
The congregation I worship with shares the Lord’s Supper each Sunday and that’s the way I want it. My translation of the Bible says “as often as you do this…” which, in my feeble way of thinking, makes me wonder whether once a week is enough or even too often (I’ll probably deal with pattern theology at some point) but I prefer to share it at least weekly because Jesus’ death and resurrection is the only thing that really matters. Without that, I am nothing. With it, I have a hope that is beyond comprehension.
I could go on babbling about what I think but enough for today. I’ll wrestle with it more and begin reading some books I’ve bought to learn more about communion in the early church. In the meantime, my only hope is that however you celebrate the remembrance and covenant God made with each of us through the cross, you will rejoice in the love and mercy God has for me and for you.