My friend A.J. Swoboda pastors a Jesus community in Portland. He is also a seminary professor, speaker and community architect. Oh, did I mention he recently wrote a book called Messy? It’s a fantastic book that I highly recommend: piercing thoughts on church, ministry and community written in an engagingly whimsical style. One particular paragraph about communion has remained with me. In fact, I shared this in one of our house churches a few weeks ago.
“At our community gatherings on Sunday, we begin every gathering with a communal meal and end every gathering by taking the Eucharist—the body and blood of Christ. Nothing has been more important for us. How we do the Lord’s Supper screams what we think about God.
When we have the children in our church serve the adults the bread and juice, it says something about God. When we allow both men and women to serve communion, it says something about God.
When we allow sinners to come to the table, it says something about God. If you don’t come to the table as broken as the bread and as dark as the wine, then you don’t deserve to partake.
When any follower of Christ is invited to the table, even if they go to a different church, it says something about God.
Communion, the mysterious proclamation of Christ’s love, is incredible. At the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine, we are confronted with a God big enough to save us from our sins and tiny enough to get stuck between your teeth.”