Focus on the Family: The Body and Blood
A few weeks ago, I traveled home to Michigan and decided I would attend my parents' church. Back when I was an adolescent in this same denomination, all of my friends decided to make a public "Profession of Faith," in which they all took a 6-week course on our church's tradition, then said (or mumbled), "I will, God helping me" in front of the congregation the following week. This allowed them the full privileges of membership in our church, the most important and obvious was getting to take communion out of the little plastic cups. I remember the sound those little cups made as they were stashed in the pre-made holes next to the hymnal holder, the sound of the clinking growing louder as more of my friends got the honor.
I didn't really see the point of all of this. It seemed sterile (both the classes and the throwaway plastic cups taken individually). Besides wanting to be like everyone else, slinging their grape juice back and stashing the cup and making that enviable sound, I didn't really want a part of it.
I am now an active member of a church with an open table. I have, at times, even served others communion and one Sunday, one of my students whom I had been taking to church served it to me. The Eucharist has become an organic, meaningful part of my Sabbath. Every week, no matter how I'm feeling (spiritually or otherwise), I know one of my sisters or brothers will break off a hunk of bread and hand me the chalice, offering the body and blood.
So when I went back to my folks' church and saw that communion was set out in the big silver platters at the front of the sanctuary and realized that it would not be blessed for me (I later confirmed this in a long and tense phone conversation with the pastor of this church), I lost it. I walked out and called my pastor, my words unintelligible through my sobs. She (my pastor) wrote about the events that followed on her blog, which was later picked up by Jim Wallis's blog, "God's Politics."
Read the rest of the story here.