communion … not just bread and juice

There has been an aha moment or two … or three… for me this week.  A lesson of the heart has saturated my soul.  Information that I have known in my head and have been surrounded by for years, finally wiggled it’s way into my heart. Okay … wiggle is a nice way to put it … more like a ton of bricks dropped on my head.  But, that’s my fault … since I was a little girl, I would ask God to just talk to me by sky writing or before mentioned ton of bricks.  Unfortunately … it’s usually ACME that delivers.

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Communion.  I love communion.  The little cups of juice, the tasteless wafers, the sitting still … I love it all.  I grew up Baptist … it’s in my bones.  I long for times to sit still on a Sunday morning (once a quarter, of course) and listen to the story of the Last Supper and sip my little juice and pray I don’t drop the plate that it sits on as I pass it to my neighbor.  That would be bad.  Not at all the way I should treat my neighbor.  It’s a legit fear for me.

This past Sunday, it was (cue trumpets) … Communion Sunday.  But, we don’t call it that where we go to gather on Sundays … because , well … we are “rebels”.  Communion was going to be served and I was glad for it.  Well, I was glad until the time came.  I had just taught fifteen five year olds while wrestling deeply deeply with some other junk in my soul. So, being the mature person I tend to be … I decided to stack chairs instead of head into the big room.  My husband encouraged me to go in … and I may or may not have slammed a chair and said, “really? (this should be all caps, by the way) as IF I should go in their right now with a heart like mine.  UGH!”.   (Yep, real mature, I know.)

I went in … and sat down. And listened … not to the guy talking (sorry JD), but to my heart and the Man that owns it.

And He kept talking … for the past few days He has kept talking … and I am grateful I have heard Him.
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That afternoon, women gathered to celebrate the birth of a baby that will be adopted by our friends, The Cowans.  What you need to know, is that this family held their daughter, Kayleigh, for five short days before she went Home to heaven.  We walked some intensely crazy tough and trusting roads leading up to her birth and the days that followed … and God carried us each step of the way.   So, when a group of women, gather for the single purpose of celebrating what God has done … there is no doubt, we were having communion together … over quiche and blackberry tea of all things.  We gathered “in remembrance of Him” … remembering His great gift of life that sustains us through every insane up and down He takes us on … just like He promises.

I left that gathering to go to a funeral of friend’s father.  A more traditional gathering with oh so sweet worship and honoring  of Mr. Tucker.  I spied the cup and plate at the front of the church.  My eyes were fixed on it as the Lord was still speaking.  Friends from Katie’s daily life and from years ago came to have communion with her.  They didn’t call it that and we never touched the elements at the front of the church.  But when that fellowship hall opened and the punch was poured … communion happened.  Friends gathered together.   Our hugs were gathered physically around Katie and her family … but our hearts gathered around Jesus … just like the disciples did in the Upper Room that night.

Oh, He wasn’t done talking.  This one He has been whispering for a while.   God has been serving up communion every Tuesday night for several months.  Sometimes there is wine and bread, but most the time it is pasta and salad and a wonderful variety of yumminess.  But it is always communion.  We are always gathered around the table and somehow, someway, almost always in the messiest of way … our words, our struggles, or hearts are about Jesus.  We are remembering Him.

And it is good.

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I still treasure a good communion Sunday … but now I know I don’t have to wait to be served. Communion is happening all the time.

As Jesus sat with His friends in the Upper Room that (not so final) night, two things stick out to this non theologian…

They broke bread together.  That was symbolic.  Symbolic of the death He endured for the Life He would give us to live.  So, when we gather … invite the One that broke His life for us.

He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  So, I am going to do just that.  I am going to remember Him.  And in turn, I will find communion in the most unlikely of places, with the most unlikely of elements.

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