Legalistic Communion

In just about all churches I’ve been a part of, communion only takes five minutes and seems like an afterthought to the service.  The congregation gets a spiel about how the church doesn’t believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation.  There’s a comment on why the church isn’t using wine.  We’re reminded we shouldn’t partake if we have a beef with one of the other church members.  Everyone eats their cracker and takes a tiny shot of grape juice.  The pastor prays, everyone leaves.  Boom.  Over.

Communion is supposed to be a reminder of Christ’s death and atonement; he tells us to “do this in remembrance of him.”  If we’re going to boil it down, take the spiritual aspects out of it, and reduce it to an oyster cracker and capfull of Welch’s before we hit the door, what’s the point?  It essentially becomes an act of legalism.

Do the bread and wine/juice physically turn into blood and flesh?  No.  Do they symbolically or metaphysically turn into blood and flesh?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  If 5,000 people can be fed by a couple loaves of bread and a few fish, why not?

Droning on and on about how it’s only bread and juice, nothing else, cheapens the whole experience.  Breaking bread together is one of the most holy acts we do as Christians.  Jesus himself told his disciples to take the bread and wine of his body in remembrance of him.  Did he preface this with a disclaimer of how it wasn’t actually his flesh and blood?  No.  Neither should the Pastor overseeing the service. Keep it simple, don’t lecture about the theological politics, and allow God to work in the congregation’s hearts.

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