Christianity 201

May 2, 2021

Communion Perspective

Ruth shared this mediation with the online church family this morning. Your church’s expression of the Eucharist/Lord’s Supper may be different, but I hope that a holy imagination allows it to stir up similar thoughts each time you participate.

by Ruth Wilkinson

1 Cor 11:23-29 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said, “This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

In the same way, after supper He also took the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord. So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat the bread and drink from the cup. For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

I love communion Sundays.

The first Sundays of each month, together in our building downtown, built with stones cemented together in centuries past, lit by coloured windows created in living memory, sharing bottled grape juice, and matzoh bread.

I love it when we all sit still and straight and facing the front while the silver trays catch the light as they’re passed up and down each row of us, hand to hand, becoming lighter and emptier as they go… like the collection in reverse. Everybody taking one small clear plastic cup and holding it. And waiting. Then the bread, already broken into small pieces by reverent hands. Taking our bread, and holding it. And waiting.

The pastor reads from the scriptures (“For I received from the Lord what I pass on to you…”), and then in his own words reminds us of what we do and why. We sit in silence together, pray together to the accompaniment of traffic noises and trains and the ceiling fans. Then we drink and eat together.

I love communion Sundays.

Partly because in ritual, in the familiar pattern, I find space to think. To be humbled.

…sitting still in a quiet room, being part of this family.
…knowing that, whatever our questions, the truth we share runs deeper.
…whatever our differences, the love we share runs deeper.
…whatever our struggles, we are here for and with each other.

I love communion Sundays.

Partly because in stillness, I find time to remember. To re-centre.

…staring down into the depths of that little cup of deep purple,
…seeing the light hit the darkness and make it glow just a little.
…just like Jesus entered the darkness of broken human life and brought the life that is the light of humanity–the light that was not overcome.

I love communion Sundays.

Partly because in interaction, I find a prompting to reset. To re-focus.

…holding that piece of matzoh between my fingers,
…seeing the stripes and the little holes,
…feeling the grit of it and the sharp edges.
…Remembering Jesus.

I love communion Sundays.

I love holding in my hand his blood and body. His bleeding and brokenness. Knowing that he bled and endured for us.

I love being aware of the people in my life. Being challenged to do what we can because of what Jesus did for us.

What did he do? He showed up. Lived our life, the good and the bad.
Did what he could, taught what we could learn.
Gave us his strength and health for the times when we would have none of our own.

He was broken so that he could put everything back together.
Including me. Including you.

We can’t hold our own brokenness in our hand. We can’t look from above into the depths of our own bleeding. We can’t always see the ways in which the topography of our skin and soul is irrevocably changed by scars and loss.
We can’t always see the ways in which our brokenness can help someone else.

Only Jesus is Jesus.
Only he could come and do what he did. Only through him can we do what we can do.

I love communion Sundays,

when I hold that little cup of purple, and that little shard of white.
Thinking about how much it must have hurt. And how much it does hurt.

And how much, how very much, it’s all been worth it.

And how very very grateful I am to have been bled for, and to have the chance to bleed for and with someone else.


For further meditation: Here again is the link to our Communion Sunday music playlist, 2 hours of worship and narrative songs.

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