Though I’ve been a part of many communion services, I’ve never served as a communion steward during a normal worship experience. No real reason – it just wasn’t something I sought out. I tend to jive with symbolism better on paper, but the experience and ritual of it gets lost on me. Honestly, it’s always been just as powerful to me to reflect on communion and what it means as to actually eat and drink the elements.
This morning I was asked if I would be willing to sub as a communion servant. I was not prepared for how meaningful it would be to serve the cup to others.
Some people came and waited to be served. Others dove right in so as not to slow the line. One boy, clearly his first experience, decided to drop a crumb of bread into the cup instead of the intinction practice. I nearly cried when I offered it to JJ and my friend Jen, stuttering out the phrase “The blood of Christ, shed for you.” (Sidenote: I can’t believe I’ve been married to a man nearly 8 years and not had the occasion to serve him communion. We’ve shared communion together frequently, but I’ve never served it.)
I noticed how many drips our method of communion tended to scatter upon my hands. No one wants to get any Jesus on the carpet, so after the dip, a person either flung it into their mouth quickly or tried to get it over a cupped hand.
In the end, my hands were wet and sticky with a reddish-purple tint. Clearly, we cannot serve our family, friends and even strangers without being willing to get our hands dirty. If we’re going to bring them Christ, we’re going to get a little Jesus on ourselves as well. We can’t offer life poured out and expect a nice, neat, tidy process. Rather, it’s going to seep into the cracks and maybe even sting a little.
Make [the bread and wine] be for us the body and blood of Christ,that we may be for the world the body of Christ.