Head First: Random...

Friday, March 07, 2008


As we took communion Sunday, my 9 year old whispered, "Daddy, Jesus' body tastes like cardboard."

"I know, honey," I thought, "He must've picked up the taste of the box we keep him in."


Zeke said...

Not to mention that his blood tastes like Welch's.

societyvs said...

Welch's - you must of been in a 'rich' church - all we had was purple stuff (lol). Just some more wit for the wit machine called Dorse!

JimmyBob said...

I think we ought to just make some homemade rolls and cut them up. My mom used to prepare communion and slice sandwich bread. It was way better than the stale or chewy wafers we get served now.

I mentioned this once, but the response I got was, "Yeah, but that's not unleavenend bread."

I didn't say anything in return, but I thought to myself, "What other Jewish practices have we bound ourselves to." I understand the symbolism, but is the purpose of communion lost if we don't follow the passover meal perfectly?

I remember using saltines and koolaid with my friends when I was teenager. It was impromptu, but full of meaning.

We do keep Jesus in a box. The box is the house we've built for ourselves. Yet, we call it God's house and tell everyone we live there with him, instead of the other way around.

mark said...

We hit "communion sunday" in nearly every church we visit down here in FL. A few of the churches observe communion each sunday, but many do the old once-a-month/quarter/year communion like the church I was brought up in. It is interesting to see how different churches treat commununion. Some treat it very sacred, some very casual.

I once sat through a church service where the pastor spoke about the need to feed the hungry in their inner city community. He then closed the service by leading us in communion - including passing out very large loaves of fresh baked bread - about one big loaf for ever 6 or 7 people. When the service was done and everyone had left the sanctuary, I peeked back in to find dozens of loaves of bread just sitting there, with maybe 25% of the bread missing, like little mice had nibbled off a small portion and left the remainder. I think the pastor's heart was in the right place, I just wish his heart had also brought his head along for the ride.

dorsey said...

I'll refer you guys back to one of my very first posts where I talked about this. The ensuing discussion was interesting.

Like the poor, those who miss the point will always be with you.

Molly's Boss said...

Ok… Ok… but let me be the bad guy that sees things a bit different. Communion to me is one of the sacraments that the Lord left us with that I enjoy when it is taken in a somewhat sacred manner. Leavened bread or unleavened is a debate that continues in the church. I.E…. But Jesus did this in the day of Passover with… But in our taking it we are representing ourselves to Jesus as sinners and therefore leavened exist in our lives therefore we should take bread that is… Putting that debate aside. What I see sometime in the bible is that certain things are to be taken in a sacred manner. The Lord’s communion was first take on the day of Passover. He was replacing the blood of the lamb that was placed over the doorpost with His body and Blood asking them to remember this night where the Blood of the Lamb was being shed for them once and for all. The Anglicans have a great way of showing this at their communion in that they start by reciting the ten commandments to bring about repentance and confession, then recite the Creeds of their belief, then finish with the demonstration of the mercy and grace of God displayed at and by the taking of His communion. They even take from a common cup to show that they commune with each other in their sharing of their faith. I see a great value in this… even though I am not Anglican. It brings in the aspects what the Lord was attempting to display (weather it be by sacrament or ordnance) and what He was bring and doing for His people. I do not believe that we need to be so formal that only an ordain minister can administer it yet I do prefer it when it is held out a sacred occasion following the traditions of the scriptures. Ok… Ok… the old guy had his say. Don’t think I changed anyone’s mind here but just wanted to put another view in place. What fun is there if we all agree, can’t be much of a food fight when that happens? But I do agree with Dorsey’s daughter… that unleavened bread can taste like cardboard at times. Do as some of the Anglican brothers do… try soaking it in the wine.

dorsey said...

Molly's Boss, I partook in an Anglican communion last year, and it was very cool, but mostly because it was very fresh to me. I saw the Lord's supper from a slightly different perspective than I was used to (and when I tasted the wine, I wanted to get back in line and remember again. Wow).

However, if I had been in that church for 30 years, doing that same thing every week, I'm pretty sure that my participation would be rather mindless and by rote as much as anything else. Now, some people can do that for thirty years and squeeze every drop of significance from the event, and that's cool. And I'm sure it's merely a function of my personality, but I wish we would have the creativity and passion to approach the Lord's table from a slightly different angle every time. In doing so, we're forced to rethink and reassess the meaning and purpose of the communion ritual, as well as our thoughts, motives, and place in the participation of it. What could be more perfect than that?

Bottom line, I don't have a problem with the way anyone chooses to do communion, except when they start to say, "you HAVE to do it THIS way."

Zeke said...

I totally disagree. The Bible clearly says you need to do it THAT way.

JimmyBob said...

molly's boss - I reread my comments just now and realized how casual and cynical I sound toward those who would prefer a closer reenactment of the last supper (in order to retain the rich meaning).

I didn't mean to come across quite that way. I too very much appreciate the depth of meaning and the sacredness that communion carries. I love the symbolism.

My first pastor, Ronald Sullivan, was a very loving and old fashioned man at the same time. And I never once heard him complain about the sandwich bread my mother prepared (even though he may have had an opinion about it).

I think that since my mom (a new Christain) was preparing it, he chose to say nothing. She would joyfully come in on a Saturday evening and prepare it. The Bible said, "He took bread and broke it." So, that's what she did. She didn't like the broken up bits of crackers that we usually had.

She did not yet fully understand the unleavened part or the meaning behind it. But, she did understand "the breaking" and that we should remember Jesus's broken body. Because he was broken, we can be healed and be made whole.

I think that Pastor Sullivan taught me to appreciate the bigger purpose, rather than getting stuck on the particulars of the practice. He also taught me how to treat people with gentelness and appreciate how the Lord is working in their lives.

I need to remember Pastor Sullivan more often. Lately I've been a little uptight. I miss him.

Molly's Boss said...

I agree with all here. I hope no one thought I was trying to be critical of anyone’s post. I was just stating my thoughts. I do agree with Dorsey in that yes… things can become so familiar and rote that they loose their meaning. Sometimes I find myself singing a familiar hymn or song in Church and no longer thinking about the word we are saying. I think that these are examples to the time that Jesus cursed the fig tree.

Mar 11:13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not [yet]. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And his disciples heard [it].

Mar 11:20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

What I see Him saying here is that they, the Jews, have a great system going in their religion but it is not producing the fruit it was intended to produce. It does not even show any indication of it. Therefore, yes… if we take our formalities to this extreme where we are worshiping the system more than the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we are in danger of being abandon by them because we are not producing the proper fruit.

Whereas I think there is a danger in this, I also think there is a danger of desiring “something new” each time we go to church. That then places a great stress on the pastors to “out perform” last weeks performance. I do not appreciate it when people say, “that was a great service because the Spirit of God was present”. Was the inerrant word of God taught properly? Then it probably was a good service no matter how your “feelings” probed you. But I do understand that this is not what you are saying… to approach the Lord supper afresh each time with hopefully proper preparation does have great value, weather it be in the Anglican style as a sacrament of the less formal style of the Baptist, Assembly, C&MA, or others as an ordinance.

JimmyBob said...

Amen to that. The pressure to perform is huge, but sometimes it's more about us pastors being stupid than it is about preaching an awesome sermon or leading a highly emotional worship song.

The complaints about sermons and songs is often only a symptom of a deeper issue about the pastor's leadership and personality (in my experience).

dorsey said...

Well that brings me back to my old drumbeat about the role of the pastor. The pressure wouldn't be on any one of us more than another if we adequately shared the responsibility of community.

It's not the mafia (at least, my church isn't anymore).
; )

sandytrif said...

Although I think all the comments above are great, I think they differ from your original thought as to why we keep Jesus in a box.

If we look at communion, Jesus thought it was an important thing to do~because of what it represents to us. Lets face it, we are a visual people, and the visual symbols he uses such as the bread (which gives life) and wine are to help us to remember what a great sacrafice He made on our behalf. So if it is wonder and kool-aide, Matzo bread and Welches, or Ricci bread and wine, I don't think it matters a whole hill of beans. What really matters is why do we put the maker of the univerise in a box we make? Why do we who are so small and finite think we can contain the creator of all things? Why do I not place Him before, above and at the center of my unworthy life? I should be ashamed to even think I can put him in a box and not share the wonders of his majesty.


Caro said...

Oh yes, I agree that our "Jesus" too often takes on the flavor of the container we put Him in (Open on Sunday in church; do not soil, or mutilate; return before leaving the building}.
Maybe we have missed the idea that He is present through the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit is the missing "element" in many of our assemblies (sic).
If we were to be "filled with the Spirit", perhaps many of our functional difficulties would be worked out; then we could focus on God's work rather than our own.
Yes, Sandytrif, I am agreeing with you as well as with molly'sboss and jimmybob

shelly said...


As of now, when "communion" is served where I attend, little itty-bitty crackers and some kind of berry juice (not grape...I think it may be cranberry) is served. Before that, it was saltine bits and grape juice (don't know if it was Welch's, aka The Official Juice of Communion (tm Jenny at Steeples and People), or not, though).

Only once was real, actual bread used. This was in the mid-1990s. We actually broke bread with our pastor and his wife; and we were encouraged to do the same with others we'd wronged in some way. I don't believe I got much out of it at the time (then again, I was a teenager). If that were to happen now, it'd probably speak to me more. It'd actually seem like a real communion to me.

I've yet to have a "communion" with real wine.

dorsey said...

Then, Shelly, I suggest you get yourself to an Anglican church, preferably an affluent one. The communion wine I tasted there sent me straight to the gift shop to see if I could buy a bottle. But no dice.

Apparently, the Anglicans have a saying: "No attendee, no drinkee."

John T. said...

this post had me thinking back to a time when I wasnt drinking and not "christian". I was going to partake in communion with a Christian friend of mine and I was worried about taking the sacraments for fear there would be alcohol in the wine. My friend reminded me that it was the blood of Christ and not to worry. So with that said "Presto" I was saved, it was Grape Juice :)