By Brett Younger
One Sunday when I was five years old we visited my grandmother's church when they were having the Lord's Supper. The worship service didn't have anything to do with communion, but after the long invitation that closed the service, the preacher said, "It's a fifth Sunday, so now we're going to have the Lord's Supper."
My parents would not for several years allow me to eat the cracker or drink the thimble of juice, but on this occasion I was sitting with my aunt whose theology is suspect. When the tray came by, she handed me a broken piece of Saltine and whispered, "Eat it before your mother sees it." The cracker was fine, but it was the grape juice that I had been eyeing for quite some time. I couldn't let myself believe that it was finally going to happen, but it did. Aunt Hilma Joyce handed me a shot glass of Welch's. The nectar of the gods tasted even better than I had imagined. It was enough to make you want to be baptized.
Since then I have learned a few things about the theological significance of the Eucharist. The primary focus of my attention is no longer the taste of the fruit of the vine, but it still seems that five-year-olds aren't the only ones who don't know exactly what's going on. Why do we call it the celebration of the Lord's Supper when most people look sad? If this is supper, then why isn't there more food? Why aren't the cups bigger? What are we supposed to be thinking? What do we need to feel?
The only instruction Jesus gives is "Do this in remembrance of me." We need to remember the story that started it all. We pretend that the one who breaks the bread and blesses the cup is Jesus. It's quite a stretch. We make believe that bread and grape juice are flesh and blood and that by swallowing them we are swallowing God's grace into our lives.
I was delighted to learn that Highland Hills celebrates communion each month. This Sunday the table will take us back to the night on which Jesus is betrayed and call us forward to live with God's love. We will share the supper and remember a love beyond anything we've practiced. We will remember and rededicate our lives to Christ.