Have you ever served communion? Today I helped serve communion. There is something incredibly powerful in placing communion in someone’s hand and saying, “The Bread of Life given for you.” See, I was raised Catholic, and the only person allowed to serve the bread and wine was the priest. It was the actual embodiment of the body and blood of Christ. I believe to a certain extent this is true. When we accept communion, we accept the fact that Christ endured agonizing pain for us. When we accept Him, we are called to be like Him. Communion is a way to remind ourselves that Christ is forever connected to us. We are taking in His presence in our lives. It is that reminder I cherish.
It is strange for me to give communion. I find myself offering this symbol of Christ to those in our congregation. Some of them are my good friends. It is no longer a friendship when I offer The Bread of Life, but a deeper relationship that connects us. It is a God connection. People who I laugh with about the antics of our children are now serious.
Then there are the elderly people. Who am I to serve these people who have forged a lifetime of faith? I am humbled in their presence. I am even more humbled when I place this life giving symbol into gnarled hands that have experienced a life time of work. As different as we may be, we are more alike in our love for Christ.
I have to hold back my smile and laughter with our children that come to kneel at the railing. They are so serious, and yet moments before they were whispering in the pews about all kinds of kid things. My son and his friend have been in deep conversation throughout worship, yet here at the railing, that has gone. My son simply says, “Hi mom”, gives me a smile and accepts this simple offering.
In the midst of giving communion, are people who I do not always like. In fact they irritate me. We agree to disagree and stay out of each other’s way. And yet, at this railing, there are no disagreements. This is God’s railing and not ours. It is this act of communion, of coming together, that makes us His children.
Each person accepts communion differently. There are those that make no eye contact. Their hands are open to accept the offering and not once do they look up to see who is giving the offering. They are in their own space and time with God. But there are those that make direct eye contact with me as I am saying to them, “This is the Body of Christ given for you.” And I feel something more than just eye contact.
There is a God connection. I am the giver of something greater than I have a right to give. Yet here I am giving this precious gift that God, that Christ, has generously offered. I am humbled. I am truly His servent in this time and place. He has blessed me and given me grace. He is my Lord and Saviour.
Giving communion is a giving, an offering, a connection to God that we need. I am honored to have given this gift today.