Sunday, June 11, 2006

Speaking of real....

I am a "Real Presence" kind of girl.

Soon after my baptism (v1.0 beta) a couple of years ago, I took communion for the first time, and I knew that somehow, the presence of Christ was in that little wafer and wine. I just had a sense of something going on that was bigger than flour and water. Bigger than my imagination or 'symbolism'. Bigger than anything I had experienced before. It was then that I realized that I had to find a church in which the Eucharist was the central part of worship. Once a month wasn't going to cut it.

For me, it is Christ in that tabernacle on the altar. When I bow before sitting in my pew, I am bowing to Him. When I sit in silence before the service, I am sitting in His presence. When I take the wafer on my tongue, it is God, infusing me with his love.

This morning, though, something happened. I don't know if it is because of the baptism (v 2.0) last weekend, but as the priest was consecrating the large host, and holding it above the chalice, I glanced up and saw the brilliant white host and my breath caught in my throat and I felt faint. I felt like I was going to faint. I felt as if I was looking at Jesus, in the flesh. It was only for an instant... but for that instant I felt the Real Presence of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit.

After communion today, my son Noah said to me "mom, I love that cracker. It is delicious."

Yes, it is.

4 comments:

Amy said...

Just yesterday I was chatting with someone about how my thoughts on this issue have evolved in the last few years...

I began with the idea this was purely symbolic (Well, that was the word from the pulpit when I first sat in a pew and it seemed so practical.)

Bt then I gave it more thought and explored why various traditions have different ideas...and I decided that there is definitely something else- something transformative- going on...

Once I let that new concept breathe a bit, I began to realize that's it's transforming because it's an encounter with God...

Now I have come to think that since this is an encounter with God, maybe there is something awry in the way churches are so exclusive about communion...

Now I think it's an offer from God
You want a piece of me?!
And that maybe we ought to be inviting folks who look even the tiniest bit intrigued to join in and be tranformed...

Amy
(Reserving the right to change my mind as I am further enlightened, and stunned by how ucc I really sound!)

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

I am a big fan of the open table, for just that reason. In my church shopping, I went to a Catholic church which I LOVED, and was very sad not to be able to take communion there. Even the Episcopal church generally requests that you be a baptised Christian before taking communion.

My litmus test is that Jesus himself invited all to his table, so why wouldn't that be the case at the communion table, too?

And by the way, I think we all have the right to adjust our beliefs as we get more information. Unless we happen to be applying for the Supreme Court, LOL.

Songbird said...

This UCC pastor has a very open attitude to the Table, since I really believe the call to receive communion is between God and the individual.
Growing up Baptist, I was taught that this was a memorial meal, and I don't think I ever thought much beyond that until near the end of seminary. It wasn't until I was leading worship and breaking the bread and lifting the cup again and again that I finally realized, well, the realness that you describe.

Lorna said...

wonderful!