(A wee post from about three years ago. This is what happens in church when I’m not listening intently for blog post material!)
I spilled my communion juice yesterday. The blood of Christ spilled, literally or figuratively (depending on your particular theological persuasion), on the linoleum floor of the family life center.
How could this happen, you ask, so I give you, without further delay, my argument for passing (not transporting) the elements.
I love my church and I get that they’re trying to go for the “come when you feel led” approach, but somehow that approach got a bit twisted in my mind yesterday. This is how it went down in my head (true story)…
“Ok, communion time… how did I let myself get hemmed in on both sides? Oh, I know, it’s the curse of arriving at the scheduled service time. We punctual folk always end up in the middle of the row. I should know better.”
“Alright, they’re getting up to go, I should feel led now, so that I don’t have to vault over them when I get back to the row with my bread and juice. Which communion line looks fastest?”
By this time, I’ve hesitated and lost. Once I’ve finally chosen left over right and front over back, people are streaming out of their seats and I somehow end up at the end of the longest line. Ahead of me, throngs of the righteous (including the folks sitting on both ends of my row). Behind me, only the guy who preached today and the guy who introduced him. Seriously. As I grab the bread and juice, and start to walk away, my brain kicks into overdrive.
“Calm down, don’t panic. Let’s think through the options. I could go for the conspicuous. Take the elements to the altar… there’s plenty of room there. Or I could go for the discreet. Just hang out in the back of the room and partake while standing. There’s no way I’m getting back to my seat. On one end, I’d have to clear multiple floor obstacles including a newborn in a carrier. On the other, I’d have to push past a gentleman so deep in meditation that his head is touching the chair in front of him.”
Somehow, lost in these ruminations, the tiny plastic cup slips from my hand and crashes to the ground. My friend runs for a paper towel and I have to double back for communion reinforcements. This time I choose back left and luckily no one else is in line. I make my way back to my row and lock eyes with the teenage son of the deep meditator. Sensing my panic, he jabs his dad in the ribs, jolting him upright just enough for me to dash back to the safety of my seat.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m genuinely thankful for the body and blood of Christ. It’s just the distribution that gets me. Carry-out is overrated. Next time, I’ll take delivery (please!).