Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Redefining Ordinary Pt. 1

I love Sundays when we take the Lord's Supper. I think I would be cool with serving it every week. Needless to say, this week we took the Lord's Supper at LHC and it was different. In such a big church it takes a while for the ushers to get to all the people, so being on first couple of rows, I had quite a bit of time to think about the blood and the body, the bread and the wine (grape juice). I spent a while remembering Jesus, his scourging, cross and my call to follow him in that. I asked God to help me be a Eucharist (good gift) to my world, to students, to my wife, to strangers, to my neighbors and friends, to the staff I work with. And then I just sat thinking and waiting for Mac to lead us through the elements. It was so meaningful to take the Lord's Supper at my new church.

On the drive home Kerra and I found our conversation steering towards the Lord's Supper again. I had been thinking a lot and something hit me for the first time. The Lord's Supper is something so ritualistic for us, uncommon and special in nature, probably as it should be, but for Jesus and his disciples and those who followed soon after, the Lord's Supper was so ordinary, common, and even the norm. I mean think about it, Jesus took the most common parts of a meal, the drinks and the bread and made from them something deeply sacred. The sacred has stayed with us, but I don't know if the common has. Those little wafers and grape juice are not the norm for any of us. In fact I would love to meet some people who enjoy Lifeway Wafers at a meal, with a glass of grape juice. But the bread and the wine were and are common at meals for those in the ancient past and the immediate present. That's why in the ancient Corinthian church Paul had to tell people to quit eating all the bread and getting drunk on the wine. They ate bread at every meal, and probably had wine as well. The elements of the Lord's Supper did not possess intrinsic sacred value. Jesus simply took something very ordinary, common-place, normal and made it sacred.

He redefined the ordinary.