This is the body…
I have “served” communion so many times that I really have no idea what the number would be. Most of those (not all) were in a very formal ritual of pomp and circumstance. We lined up and passed fancy plates, said prayers and then solemnly dispersed to silently pass the tray/plate/communion ware down the pews. They looked something like this
As a teenager, I mostly worried about not missing someone. When we lived in Jackson another guy and myself were saddled with trying get 8 guys every week to pass the communion (we called it serving). It was bad. Some people would flat out say no. Many would avoid me. Most tried not to make eye contact. So we ended up serving ourselves numerous weeks. Not that I minded at all but it is just part of the story.
A little over a year ago, I led a group in some thoughts about communion at summer camp. We made note of our need to find forgiveness in the past and our need for a future where things will be made right. Then we as families each took turns partaking of the elements.
Today we, (Kim and I) were asked to serve communion. Our communion time is a bit different that what I describe above we have a few stations set up with where as people are ready they can come and take the elements. As they and break the bread, they are told the ancient words, “The body of Christ broken for you”. And as they come to the cup, “This is the blood of Christ shed for you”.
I had the cup and tried to make eye contact with each person and tried to put emphasis on the word you. Seeing each person and thinking Jesus died for you. Many whose names I know, some I didn’t was very moving. It was truly an honor. Some people spoke back. Thank-you. Praise God. Amen. Others seemed almost shaken by the thought that this blood was shed for You.
Afterwards, Kim echoed similar thoughts. That it was very moving, that she too tried to make eye contact.
I was again reminded that in communion there is a lot more going on here than we usually remember.