Half-and-Half Communion

Perhaps it’s a sign of my traditionalistic tendencies, dating back to Central Baptist Church in Winchester, Kentucky in the late 50s…or my habit of adding creamer to my coffee (Hold on to that one!)…or my understanding of Scripture, the early church, and the community elements of the Body of Christ. In other words, I’m trying to rationalize my uncomfortableness with the road my life has traveled so far, and how I’m used to things being a certain way.

Okay! Here it is! I have misgivings about church communion being performed with little cups that resemble those half-and-half creamers for my coffee. You know, the mini-sized wafer on top and two drops of grape juice inside the cup! It’s just…just…so un-special, like buying generic at Walmart.

I understand the rationale for it: safer for these pandemic times, doesn’t consume a lot of time, and you don’t have to worry about dropping the tray and spattering the lady wearing the brightly-colored, flowered dress. Larger churches can distribute the half-and-half easily as people enter the sanctuary and there’s minimal clean-up afterward.

The positive aspects of half-and-half communion also make my inners itch. The fact that it helps keep the worship service to an American hour rubs up against my desire to slow down and contemplate the meaning of the elements and the memory of Jesus’ last supper evening.

At the small church I attend most Sundays and speak at once or twice a month, communion is a Body-building experience. For a while we had people come forward and pick up their elements at the front of the sanctuary, but now we’ve returned to passing out the tray of bread (Ry-Krisp crackers!) and then the tray of communion cups. In the communion experience I need time to think about grace, forgiveness, sacrifice, who I am and God still loves me.

The United Baptist church (A contradiction in terms, kinda like jumbo shrimp!) my grandparents were a part of in rural eastern Kentucky observed communion only once every three months, not because it wasn’t important, but rather to make it stand out as being even more significant. Most Sundays they had communion they also had a foot-washing service…another part of that Upper Room story.

I’ve got a little Lutheran in my blood in that I like how they make the eucharist the focus of their worship and observe it each week.

But back to the half-and-half creamers! I’m afraid our disconnectedness from our spiritual roots will obscure the understanding of Jesus’ last meal more and more. I can envision a grandpa sitting with the grandkids and saying something like, “Back in the old days, we used to PASS OUT little cups and pieces of bread ON TRAYS!” The grandkids eyes would get big and one of them would reply, “Grandpa, you used to do it THAT WAY?”

Okay, maybe we won’t get to that point…at least in our lifetime! I am, however, having nightmares of accidentally pouring my half-and-half communion juice into my cup of coffee!

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2 Comments on “Half-and-Half Communion”

  1. phydi3kids Says:

    you always make me smile- even when you are talking about serious matters. Blessing on your next cup of coffee 🙂

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