the body of Christ, the bread of heaven

I see this picture third-hand, from a friend of a friend of a friend.  Friend #3’s church had Communion on Sunday, and they were surprised by what they received. There’s an itty-bitty-wafer in the package, and a tiny bit of liquid; I don’t know whether it is wine or grape juice, and I really don’t have a dog in that particular fight.

The fight I do engage in, though, is that I deny most emphatically that this is Communion.  Communion starts with com – with.  Where is the with in this feast?  Each person has their individually wrapped mini-meal. Dishes are not passed around the table, like at a big family feast.  The bread is not broken or even sliced for sharing. Setting aside debates around the common cup, we don’t even see the grape-based-liquid poured out from the same bottle!  Where is the unity here?  How does this help us to see ourselves as part of the family of God, gathered around God’s great table for the greatest Feast there is?

I have other objections, but this is the primary one.  I do not insist that Communion must be celebrated exactly as Jesus would have presided over that Passover meal.  But I do strongly believe that Communion is supposed to gather us together for the Feast, not separate us with pre-packaged “airline meal” elements of bread and (grape-based-liquid).

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