Sunday, March 07, 2004

Communion, individual style...

Communion: 1) an act or instance of sharing, 2) a Christian sacrament in which bread and wine are partaken of as a commemoration of the death of Christ, 3) communication, 4) a body of Christians having a common faith and discipline
Now when the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table and the apostles joined him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. - Luke 22:14-20 (NET)
There was a one-off today in church that had the earmarks of good intentions but still didn't sit well with me. The topic of The Passion has been discussed the past couple of weeks in keeping with the movie's theatrical release. Our denomination partakes in communion on the first Sunday of the month. As this was the first communion since the release of the movie, the interim pastor felt it would be an especially poignant experience. In keeping with this approach the bread and wine were not served to us directly, as we normally do, but were placed on several tables located throughout the sanctuary. We were instructed to prayerfully consider the communion this particular Sunday and then rise, at the time of our choosing, and partake of the elements either individually or with our family. I realize that, with the release of The Passion, a great deal of focus has been placed on what Christ did for us individually. But does this warrant turning what should be a corporate expression of the communion into multiple, individual units partaking of the communion under one roof? Is that what is modeled for us in the Bible? We view the world through individualistic lenses enough as it is.

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