“I’m talking to you like you are sensible people. Think about what I’m saying. Isn’t the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Isn’t the loaf of bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one loaf of bread, we who are many are one body, because we all share the one loaf of bread.”
1 Corinthians 10.15-17 (Common English Bible)
When was the last time you had a loaf of fresh-from-the-oven bread? It’s wonderful to get a slice of it, cover it in butter and then eat it while it’s warm and soggy and buttery. It’s even better with a little homemade apple butter or sorghum on it as well. Mmmm. That’s good eating.
When my family cooks bread, we gather around the oven waiting for the bread to be taken out of the oven, and wondering who will get the first piece.
I wish we were so eager to eat at the Lord’s table. We would be like the children who come to the chancel area, standing in wide-eyed anticipation of the bread that they are about to receive.
It’s wonderful to watch the children standing around the altar, waiting eagerly for the bread just as we did when we were kids waiting for the bread to be taken out of the oven.
Sadly, when it’s our turn at the table, we hear many comments like, “Is it Communion Sunday again? I always dread Communion Sunday because the service is so long.” Where did the longing and craving of that spiritual bread go?
I remember receiving my first Holy Communion at age 16. It was a holy and wonderful experience as in the taking of the bread and juice, I experienced God’s grace in a way I had never before known it.
Today, when I serve the bread and the juice to others, I remember that experience of God’s grace and wonder if today will be the day that those receiving communion will have their own heart-warming experience of God’s grace.
In the United Methodist tradition, we partake of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month, and we invite all who are worshipping with us to come to Christ’s table.
On this Sunday as we come to Christ’s Table to share as one faith community in the one body, let’s recapture that wonder and anticipation of the children as we await God’s grace to us in the sharing of bread and juice with all present in the community of faith.
How have you experienced God’s grace in your life? How can you share that experience with others?
Jan McCoy is associate pastor of First United Methodist Church of Covington. She may be reached at email@example.com.