This morning, like we do the first Sunday of every month, our church celebrated (is that an appropriate word?) communion. I have been in churches with a variety of time tables of practicing this ritual: quarterly, in the evening service, in the morning service, monthly, and one Baptist church and prepared the table with bread and the fruit of the vine every week.
I don’t know that there is a right and a wrong as to when to have communion. I believe
the church has freedom in deciding when to practice it as best fits their worship practice.
But I was struck today by how normal it felt. Communion should never be normal.
We practice monthly here. The last church I attended served communion weekly.
It never got old, routine, or normal then. In fact, I think communion took on
more significance for me while I was at the church precisely because we practiced
it weekly. But here, at only once a month, it just seems every day. Normal. Routine.
Not all that holy, set-apart, sacred. And I don’t like that, not one bit.
Communion, Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Table, Mass, whatever you might call it, is the
high point of worship in a church. While my tradition does not hold any place for special, saving grace from the cup and bread, Communion is the preeminent time of worship. It is, of all times, when we remember our whole story: from Genesis to Revelation, taking long stops in Deuteronomy, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It’s not just the Christmas story or the cross or the resurrection. But the whole bundle from creation through loss to redemption and the hope of restoration. Only communion can really capture all of that at the same time.
So it shouldn’t be routine. It shouldn’t be normal. It is anything but.