Sunday, I toured and attended worship service at the National Cathedral. The following are rough thoughts that came to me as I opted out of and observed the Communion ordinance. A minister served the wafer (bread) and then participants walked to another person holding one glass and some drank (yes, from the same glass) and some dipped the wafer into the wine. Others had the option to enter the line with hands crossed across the chest to signify the desire for a prayer of blessing.
Disciples of Jesus Christ are the servants of community… We offer Christ. We offer
life, not as source but as vessel. We wait to serve others the meal that symbolizes our new life in Christ.
Bread. Wine. Jesus.
Some take the bread only, and leave without full benefit of experience. Only the Word. Only a part of the intended blessing of this New Covenant in Christ. In refusing the wine for method of drink, we refuse community. In dipping we step back from the community in the cup.
I observed none took the wine alone. None floated alone on Spirit to unfounded heights, nor drifted too low on sacrifice without Word strength and anchor.
Maybe the refusal to drink the same cup comes on the surface from a carnal caution or hygienic fear. Or maybe the opt-out is because of a lack of a frame of reference; it is simply different from what some know. Even more, perhaps, the resistance to drink the same cup of wine is born of something deeper… something beyond understanding cognitively… that some know in spirit that individual gifts and calling require a different cup for us all.
Here is the wonder, that man can refuse the wine in the ceremony and be well, content even, in the place of faith in the same Lord. Man can refuse in ceremony and with similar conviction remain in fellowship with the same Lord.
There’s something to be said for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and its ability to weave us into a living faith — without the ritual of symbol, and with the proper weight on symbols. Yet, “do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).
We are not a community in contradiction. We are alive in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:22) and our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We are one… and peace is in the surrender to God’s allowance for freewill, and leave matters we deemed eternal. Peace is we all want bread, and live by the Word of “bread” (Luke 4:4). Peace is we need wine to assimilate bread, to seek and find the Lord.
Peace is receiving Him. Selah, Royal Ones. Love to all.