Theology for the Long Haul

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Travel Plaza Tuesday: A Kid at the Table

The second Sunday my family visited the church we currently attend, a group of children ran into the meeting area after the service. Like a skulk of fox, they tore around the room. A boy in baggy pants missing one of his front teeth was their leader. He headed straight for the bread used earlier in communion (it had been cleared away) and began to dole it out like a Peter-Pan-style-priest. No one will be surprised I later learned he is the pastor’s son. Good thing someone had already put away the wine.

That day, as I watched the kids eat bread, I thought about how joyful and full of life they were. It occurred to me this mirrored what the Lord had revealed to my heart about communion. In the past, I always held the torn piece of bread and little cup, and reflected on Christ’s death, His broken body, His blood poured out. It was a meaningful remembrance. However, only recently, when I became part of a church that celebrates the Lord’s Table weekly, I realized communion is less to do with a past remembrance and more to do with a living reality.

There is a powerful portion of scripture that spoke this to me.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves: we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.” (I Corinthians 4:6-12, NASB, Italics added for emphasis)

Previously, I thought of communion merely as remembrance of Christ’s death and sacrifice. However, these verses reveal that we carry around in our bodies the physical death and resurrection of the Lord. Communion is not a remembrance of an event that occurred, but recognition of living reality that I walk in everyday. It’s like a newly engaged woman who has a sparkly bright diamond on her finger. She looks down at it incessantly. Is it to remember the moment that she became engaged? While she may think of that day and its preciousness, it is not the reason she can’t take her eyes off the ring. She looks at it because when she does, her heart is reminded again that she belongs to another. And their lives are now entwined unto death. Taking communion is not a memorial of the day Christ died, but an act that displays a spiritual reality: as a born-again child of God, He gave me His life, and now I live in it.

I have experienced the dying and resurrection of the Holy Son of God in me. I am the new bride. Communion overwhelms me now. The bread and the cup are the largest, most gleaming diamond put upon my finger. There is so much joy in it.

Some weeks, when the service is over, I feel so full of that joy, I want to run through the meeting room with the kids.


  1. I've always clinked my mini cup with another and say cheers! to everlasting life! before I drink. It helps me remember that communion is meant to be a celebration and joyous reminder.

  2. you have opened my eyes to a new and true way to enjoy communion! thank you!!

  3. Jennee, I meant to respond earlier and point out something your comment touched on- the communal aspect of communion. My post was mostly about what the Lord had shown me about the personal nature of communion. Would have liked to write more about the corporate nature but it would have made for a super long post.
    Maybe another Tuesday....