It was a ceremony repeated once a month for most of my childhood. “The Lord’s Supper” it was called. Sometimes they labeled it “Communion”, though at the time I didn’t understand why. *
Reverend Hill took his place behind what seemed to young me like a twenty-foot high pulpit and recited bible verses in his booming voice, the voice of a reverend.
Then the church leaders, with stern looks on their faces, passed around shining plates of tiny pillow-shaped wafers and half-ounce cups of grape juice. I was terrified that I’d drop one. We ate and drank somberly, in silence, supposedly reflecting on Jesus, because he had said “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Only decades later did I realize how much I’d been ripped off by those experiences. The actual Lord’s Supper was much different. It was a – ummm – supper. Like dinner time. Silence? Stern looks? Somber attitudes? That’s never happened at any meal I’ve attended.
There aren’t a lot of experiences better than getting together with friends around food. Apparently, Jesus felt the same way, as that’s how he chose to spend the evening right before he was turned over to the authorities to be crucified.
So inviting a few folks for dinner now and then; talking about whatever comes up; remembering the son of God as we attempt to follow his teachings. This might be an improvement on the traditional ritual, and more authentic to the biblical account as well. It could even lead to some real live human communion.
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(* I do know that some see the Lord’s Supper as a Passover Seder, and / or believe that a mystical connection with Christ occurs during it. I have no quarrel with that. Scholars disagree, however, and I’m not a scholar, so I stay away from such discussions. I’ve simply shared my own experiences and thoughts.)
So many great memories of dinners with family and friends where the exchange of thoughts, stories, quips and comments were as flavorful as the food. It’s during such gatherings that I often feel a divine spark, a connection to my companions and their Creator that flows out of the fellowship of sharing a meal. We all eat to survive, but there’s spiritual sustenance to savor if we give ourselves fully to the moment.