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Common or Communion?

I can’t help but wonder if we have made a bigger deal out of communion then Jesus intended for it. 

I get the impression that communion is a sacred time for most people who attend Parkside. And that is wonderful. Nothing wrong with it. Unless…communion itself becomes the object of holiness and not the one it represents; or if the time spent reflecting is too holy to interrupt, yet our personal time with Jesus daily we allow our iPhones to disrupt. I fear that we place too high a level of importance on a little piece of bread and a little cup of juice. There is nothing magical about Sunday morning communion. When compared to the other 21 (or more) meals we have throughout the week, I believe it should be treated equally as significant. Every time we have community (communion) with other Christ-followers, we should thank God for the gift of Jesus and use that time to realign ourselves with His purpose for our lives.

Now, how do we teach children (and adults) that? I don’t know. Especially when TV dinners are a thing, or families who don’t sit down and eat at the same time. How do we make Christian fellowship the focus of a meal and Jesus’ teaching the main dish? Is it impossible? I hope not.

My personal view is that communion on a Sunday morning is not important. There, I said it. I believe that meal times during small group is more likely what Jesus had in mind when he initiated the Lord’s supper (note: supper, not snack). I think it is tremendously important that we remember Jesus’ sacrifice whenever we get together, but I don’t think that communion accomplishes that remembrance.

If I had my druthers, I would not serve communion on Sunday mornings. Instead, I would encourage people to grab a bite to eat afterwards and make sure that Jesus is the central topic of their conversations, and that they rejoice in the freedom that His grace provides. That would be my ideal communion.

Perhaps this is overstating my true intentions. I do not feel that we should overlook communion, since Jesus did say "do this in remembrance of me." But perhaps what I am saying is that we are only capturing a shadow of what Jesus intended for us to remember, and we are making a really big deal of that shadow. 

In exchanging some thoughts about this with my dad:
Jesus said "do THIS in remembrance." What are we to do? That night would any of the apostles have imagined that the little ritual snack we have in the middle of a mostly-passive worship service was in any way related to the new layer of meaning our Lord attached to the Passover Seder meal? No, they would have imagined a common meal in a home.

And when Jesus said "in REMEMBRANCE," did He mean for us to sit silently and "remember" Him? A better translation and interpretation of the phrase "in remembrance of" would be "reenact" or "recreate." The Hebrew language is very concrete, and any time that Israel was told to do something, it was never to "sit and reflect," but to act and re-present. To "Re-Member" is to put back together; to reconstruct. So, what is it that we are re-membering? We are proclaiming by reenacting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and our connection by faith to apply that atoning sacrifice to ourselves.

OurSELVES. Which leads me to note: "ourselves" as a body, not "myself" as an individual. That's why we call it "communion," because it is part of our collective celebration of our "common unity"!
Put it all together, and I think we are doing a good thing when we celebrate the Lord's Supper. But we are only capturing a very small part of what should be a profound action that grows in meaning and insight each time we eat and drink.


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