Communion in the Round
The church service followed Christ’s last hours before his crucifixion. From his plans for the Passover meal to his final words this side of Heaven, the service was laid out for us, right there, in the bulletin.
Like so many church goers, we like to know what’s coming next.
But not even our pastor knew what the Spirit would move him to do when it came time for communion. He looked out over the small group gathered to remember the agony that preceded the most glorious event of all time and it just came to him.
He invited is ALL to come forward to the communion table. We gathered in a circle, some seemed curious, a few uneasy. The pastor took the bread and broke it. He poured the cup. And then he turned to the man standing to his left and holding out the loaf, said, “The body of Christ, broken for you.” Then that man turned to his wife standing on his other side and said, “The body of Christ, broken for you.” And so it went, around the circle.
My husband accepted the bread then turned to me and with tears in his eyes said, “Sarah, this is the body of Christ, broken for you.” I broke off a piece and turned to my dear friend to offer her Christ’s broken body. As the circle came to a close, a child of 12 turned to the pastor and said, “Daddy, the body of Christ, broken for you.”
And so it went with the cup. Husband offering the blood to wife, father offering it to daughter, friend to friend.
And the enormity of what we were doing filled that little circle. I have taken communion a hundred times. Perhaps a thousand. But never before in such a way. To accept the bread and juice and then to turn and offer them added a depth and breadth to something that is all too often taken for granted.
Christ’s body was broken for me. His blood was shed for me. As it was for you. As it was for everyone, whether they know it or not. Whether they believe it or not.
Holy week is ended. He is risen. All that’s left is to tell the world.