Community Communion

Many of us go to church weekly, and take communion on a regular basis, but have you ever thought about what it should be?

We in the modern church take communion normally as a piece of bread and a small amount of grape juice, and while those are the two things Jesus used to symbolize his body and blood, that was not the way Christians celebrated Him after his death.  Here is what Dictionary.com says communion is:

com·mun·ion

[kuh-myoon-yuhn]  

noun

1.( often initial capital letter  ) . Also called Holy Communion. Ecclesiastical .

   a.the act of receiving the Eucharistic elements.
   b.the elements of the Eucharist.
   c.the celebration of the Eucharist.
   d.the antiphon sung at a Eucharistic service.
2.a group of persons having a common religious faith; a religious denomination: Anglican communion.
3.association; fellowship.
4.interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication: communion with nature.
5.the act of sharing, or holding in common; participation.
While we often share the bread or wafer and the grapes juice or wine, do we really share the experience.  Early Christians sat and ate a meal and the sacraments of communion at the same time.  While no one actually knows when the exact time the meal was separated from the sacrament, most people agree it was due in large part to the Christians having to hide to celebrate because of persecution.  By the time the church was fully established in the late fourth century the Eucharist ceremony was fully established as the norm.
So why haven’t we gone back to the way it was done originally?
Honestly no one knows.  It is so ingrained into our traditions that most people never think about why it is the way it is.  Think about your holiday meals or just getting together with friends.  I don’t know about you, but I remember when we eat.  We can always look back on those special times and remember, can you distinguish one communion service from another?  I know I can’t.  So the next time you are taking the bread and the wine think of ways your church can change communion to make it a more community event.
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About Steve Crenshaw

Disciple of Christ, blogger, speaker. Pretty good husband and father. Jacksonville Jaguars Season Ticket Holder and Arkansas Razorback Fan