Preparing Communion for Sunday: Old First E-pistle 05.01.20

Preparing Communion for Sunday: Old First E-pistle 05.01.20

Folks, this Sunday, May 3, is the first Sunday of the month, communion Sunday.

For church on Sunday, we will have more of a Communion liturgy than Michael often relies on — it seems right when each is partaking of the signs of Christ’s body and blood diasporadically at home, but we need and want to experience it as one Table, one Lord and a common grace that keeps us together.

Please decide what you will use as communion elements, and have them ready, nearby for worship on Sunday.

Our tradition at Old First is bread and grape juice. But Michael noticed away from our “no alcohol on the church property” policy, some people were using wine at home.

Michael remembers a camping youth retreat when he was in Confirmation Class when saltines and jelly were used.

Ibudun heard of a church near her home in Sicklerville that pre-delivered those hermetically sealed packages that include a sip of grape juice and in a separate compartment, a communion wafer. That made Michael think that raisan bread is the bakery version of that same idea and convenience.

One family last month used coffee and breakfast pastry! That wasn’t wrong either.

Jesus simply took the most common staples of the daily diet in the lives of people of his time and place, and he lifted them up from their daily use to a heavenly use.

In the same way we delight to find that God can use Zoom and the internet to be with us, you do not need fear — Jesus can use whatever is on your plate and in your cup as symbols that remind you of his love and faithfulness! Do you doubt that our self-giving God can work grace through whatever you offer for communion on Sunday?

A beautiful loaf. A slice of wonder bread. A hamburger bun. Pita bread. Banana bread. A Triscuit. Matzoh. A cookie. Rice crackers. God is that good!

Grape juice. Wine. Cranberry juice. Berries, fruit. Orange juice. Milk. Tea. Coffee. Water. Really, God is that good!

In the history and experience of the church, people have substituted other staple foods for the bread — rice, casava. And any juice or drink, down to the purest cup of living water will do because sometime it’s been used before…

And God can work with all the elements of our lives. (God can even turn what’s bad for good, for heaven’s sake!)

In our time of pandemic and StayHome situation, I promise God’s grace can be found in whatever food you eat as a sign of his body and in whatever drink you taste as a sign of his blood. And wherever you are seeking safety. Why? Because that’s how God works — taking the form necessary to find us where we are and meet us as we are.

How good it will be when the people of God gather around the Table on Sunday and enjoy the Feast that Jesus is sharing with us.

Please prepare for that celebration. A plate and a cup with what will symbolize for you his body and his blood, his sacrifice for you.

And perhaps just a moment of prayer as you are preparing, “Please, Lord, in sharing this food, may I come to know you and your ways better and to feel again your love, faithfulness and grace enter my life and strengthen and encourage me. Amen.”

 

See you in church,

Michael