Friday, August 10, 2012

Thoughts on Communion

As some of you may know, I plan on going into ministry full-time, that has lead me to seminary applications. One of them requires I write a one page essay on a theological topic that concerns the church, the community, or the world. This is that essay, I was already thinking about Communion after serving it at Servant Church (Austin, TX) this past Sunday, so this essay literally just popped out of my brain onto Google Drive, hope you enjoy.

Serving the Body & Blood of Christ
I don’t know if it is the liturgy leading us all to Christ and humbly receiving the grace He through the Spirit provides, or simply the gathering of saints creates this perfect atmosphere in which people feel that can show who they really are at the altar. When I serve communion I somehow always get the wine, so my line is always the phrase “This is the blood of Christ shed for you”, this line never gets old to me because of the reactions the line elicits from the people receiving Christ’s blood. Some of the congregants will smile, affirmed in their faith and in God’s love of them, some will cry for precisely the same reasons, others stare at me and look as if I have just cast a spell on them. 
My favorite moment in serving communion came on the last Sunday I spent at my home church before leaving for undergraduate study at the University of North Texas. One woman who was in town for the baptism of her niece came to the front already weeping, as she reached out her hands, “This is the body of Christ broken for you” , said Travis she nodded and moved in front of me still crying, I bent my head down looked in her eyes and said “This is the blood of Christ, shed just for you.” I changed my line for her, I knew that she was moved by Christ’s love for her, and I felt in my heart that she needed to know that this body and this blood, was here for her, not just the bread and wine, that the church was there to help her bear her cross daily, that God had not left her unto herself, but God had sent another Comforter, even the Spirit of Truth, and that Comforter was working through this bread and wine and this community of saints. As her eyes were level with mine she looked as if a veil had been lifted and she said to me “Thank you, thanks be to God”. I never saw her again, but I know that the Comforter had done a work in her that day through that body and blood, I only pray that the Church and I can be a body that the Comforter sees fit to use to bring comfort to others.