Weird topic but I would say that many church goers have come face to face with the challenge of what to do with "communion gum" You never gave thought to it being "communion Sunday" at your church. Perhaps the act of chewing made you oblivious to the stack of trays on the communion table. But now out of nowhere you hear the pastor begin the service of presenting communion and you are now all but consumed with trying to rid of your gum. Sure the easy way out is to place it in a piece of paper to throw away later but that paper could end up being a grocery list, contact numbers/emails perhaps even last weeks notes. Or do you play it "cool" and try to keep it in your mouth place under your tongue just right as you partake of the bread and juice/wine. Personally this ordeal has caught me off guard and a few times I have tried to just hold it in my hands using the tips of my fingers unfortunately there is a certain brand of gum (Orbit?) that sticks to you like Gorilla glue. And by the time communion is over I have gum stuck to the bottom of the cup and fingers and cannot get it off. Its strung out like a nice bite of hot cheese being pulled from a piece of pizza. Now I'm asking for paper or tissue and like magic I have all 3 stuck together. So now I'm wondering what is this gum actually made of? Who is looking at me. And theres no way I can place this trinity of cup, gum and paper aside so no one will notice. I brought this topic up to some friends, family members and even my pastor and they immediately knew what I was talking about in "communion gum" Makes me wonder if the pastor is ever distracted seeing the congregation use their deepest imagination to rid of gum a split second from entering a very sacred moment.
Thats just it we are distracting ourselves from what is at hand, literally right before us, in and around us, the presence of God and the celebration of remembering that His love is beyond reasoning, explanation but that He would die for you and me. Its even grace that He would tell us to remind one another of what took place, this act of love that has no match throughout history. Some may read this and think I am making light of communion. The truth is I am pointing out the reality that we do make light of communion in various ways. Where has our heart and mind been during the week Monday through Saturday? How about that very Sunday morning. Did we have to get in some sport scores? How was our conversation to our love ones at home and on our way to church. John Acuff gives a message called "Booty God Booty" Where we are consumed with self/world then Sunday we have God back in our life only to return to "booty" by Monday if not in the church parking lot as soon as we exit the church doors.
Making light of communion is certainly no new thing In Corinthians 11 we see communion turned into a party (okay now the gum thing dont seem too bad) "And then I find that you bring your divisions to worship—you come together, and instead of eating the Lord's Supper, you bring in a lot of food from the outside and make pigs of yourselves. Some are left out, and go home hungry. Others have to be carried out, too drunk to walk. I can't believe it! Don't you have your own homes to eat and drink in? Why would you stoop to desecrating God's church? Why would you actually shame God's poor? I never would have believed you would stoop to this. And I'm not going to stand by and say nothing." And you know WHY they had to be told to STOP being glutton pigs and getting hammered at the "communion table" Because believers, the church was actually doing such, thats right they would enter in to partake of sacred communion and leave bloated with food and intoxicated with grape juice (for the extremely conservative we will make believe it was a special Welch’s juice). Most of us have read that and thought man how lost, messed up were they back in the early church. And when we know deep down this is in each one of us. Many of us have done far worst but at the same time we share with one another that our "deepest" sins are we dont read as much as we should and perhaps too much TV. When in reality sinfulness goes deep and wide in our hearts and minds. As one person put it if we were truthful some of our thoughts would have Jesus drinking gin from a cat dish. There is a saying (that has been credited to Augustine but seems no one is certain) The church is a whore but she is my mother No matter who said it or in what context I understand such that we as a body tend to sell out for most trivial things. The church has committed tragedies in the name of Christ. We have come to His table as a ragamuffin and been a made pure, holy, saint overflowing with His grace and mercy only to leave stumbling back into the world consume with self. Im not sure how we "pull this one off" and quickly forget what God has done and is doing for us and what He has for us as we take our very last breathe. Communion indeed is more of a invitation then a refusal/denial. Jesus wants us to come to the table but how tiresome is it for all involve, spiritual draining for only that one moment to be your connection with God for the week, the month. I believe theres a call for us to always see the table before us. In the best of times and in the wilderness where there only seems to be darkness and storms. Jesus remains awaiting for us to come and at that table we are His children, sons and daughter. There is no caste system in Jesus eyes and at this table we are practicing and preparing for the grand banquet where once and for all at His table the lame can walk, the deaf can hear, the blind can see, the poor are rich, and the weak are strong. The lost are found. No shame. No condemnation. More than enough reason to be in awe. Jesus says “Come and Remember Me”
Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord's Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me.After supper, he did the same thing with the cup: This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you. Each time you drink this cup, remember me.What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.
27-28Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of "remembrance" you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.
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