Wednesday, April 13, 2005

some ideas on communion

i've sensed a disturbing trend recently. maybe i'm only noticing more so now because i'm helping to administer the elements for the Lord's supper (not as an ordained minister, but as a deacon) and/or because of a particular and growing sensitivity to the issue. but the fact of the matter is - unscientifically - i would guess roughly half of our church members partake in our bimonthly communions.

now, on the one hand, i appreciate the non-participants solemnity in approaching the Lord's Supper. there is an understanding that we should not eat or drink of the elements with sin in our hearts, or without pondering the sacrifice of Jesus. it has a heaviness associated with it from the moment Jesus instituted the practice.

yet the truth of the matter is, when we say no to the Lord's Supper, when we say no to the spilled blood of the wine (or grape juice in our non-sacramental traditions) or to the broken flesh of the bread, we are saying no to Christ and his sacrifice. neither are we receptive of his grace over our sins. to clarify, i do not believe that partaking of the elements is an instrument of grace, for that is given to us sola fida and solo Cristo, but we represent our stance toward Christ and his redemption of us as individuals within the bodywork of the Church in our stance toward the cup and the bread. which is why i'd have a hard time substituting the bread for, say, twinkies or the wine for red kool-aid (i already have a hard enough time with our - hopefully expired - practice of using those insta-communion traveling packs).

i do not stand in judgement over anyone. i know i need to be more repentant before, during and long after Communion Sundays. but i think something needs to be said within the Body, for we are the Body (practicing Christians, that is), and if a part of the Body is injured, does not the whole Body suffer with it?

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