Monday, August 20, 2007

communion thoughts

Yesterday I went through the house with a clipboard, making an inventory of all the things I still need to do before we're ready for our move on Friday. It's a long list. This will be a busy week in the packing department.

So in the interests of getting lots of that done done this week, I've decided to warm up some old posts instead of writing new ones. I'll be reposting my five most popular, according to sitemeter stats. Today it's number 5 - a poem "Communion" which I first posted when my blog was about one month old in November 2004. (It seems 'communion thoughts' is a popular Google search every Saturday night. Thus I get a hit or two or three every weekend.)

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COMMUNION

"Communion Service,
next Sunday morning at 10:00,"
church bulletin said.
I imagined sitting there,
wafer and tiny goblet of juice in hand
trying hard not to think
of what I'll make for lunch.
It wasn't even a prayer, just a thought
I wish it had more meaning for me again.

Early Communion Sunday morning
the book opened to the spot
kept by the crocheted cross
"The Bread that I present to the world
so that it can eat and live
is myself,
this flesh-and-blood self."

(Ew gross!
It offended the Jews then,
'How can this man
serve up his flesh for a meal?'

People still say,'Your religion
is too bloody.')

"But Jesus didn't give an inch.
'Only insofar as you eat and drink
the flesh and blood of the Son of Man
do you have life within you.
By eating my flesh
and drinking my blood,
you enter into me
and I into you.
... bring a hearty appetite.
... make a meal of me."*

Oh God of heaven, Jesus, Lord
On personal invitation
I'll chew the bread, imbibe the wine
Your presence my distraction.

I cannot with my literal mind
Pretend to understand
What happens when I eat and drink
Inscrutable, heavenly plan,

It’s mystery
And intimacy,
Communion
God with man.

******************
*Peterson, Eugene H. The Message, the New Testament In Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs CO., Navpress, 1993, John 6 – pp. 234,235.

4 comments:

Kim said...

I love your communion mediation, violet. I have noticed in recent years, that our church has not emphasized the importance of communion enough. While we don't want to ascribe things to it that are not biblical, I do think that it needs to be approached with more reverence than it is. One sunday morning, the pastor must have repeated at least four times "This is just a symbol." While it is true to our church's doctrinal position, I thought once was enough. It was as if he was robbing it of its meaning completely.

violet said...

It is a mystery, isn't it?

I wrote this little poem thing several years ago. It was after that exact thing happened - one Sunday Communion was announced for next week and I realized it had become 'common' for me. The next Sunday morning in my quiet time, before we went to church and the Communion service, I was at that John 6 passage in my Message Bible. It was as if God was very personally honoring my wish by giving me an encounter with Jesus' own take on what communion was all about.

john the step dad said...

Some how we tend to not take things seriously when we do them often. Our church practices communion each week. We, the ministry team leaders and teachers, share our thoughts on what communion means to us on a rotating basis. We might hear a message of thanksgiving and how the "holiday" is proclaimed by our President (I'm a U.S. citizen) each year. This proclamation is done each year and does not grow old for most.
In I Corinthians 11:23-24 we are told "This is my body, which is for you; do this in rememberance of me." and "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in rememberance of me." I guess for me that means that we are to remember what it is all about whenever we do it. If we are not fully thinking of Christ when the time comes to take communion then I think we should pass. It's not a crime to admit your wondering mind but to take communion just out of habit or because everyone else is, is eatting of a sacrific not in rememberance but with nothing. When I put the body to my mouth and the blood to my lips I know it was for me that He died and he came again for me. No more preaching from me. Thanks for the poem, I just might use it next time I'm asked to do the communion meditation.
John

violet said...

John, you're most welcome to use it. And I think it's so wise to pause and reflect at each communion service.

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