Thursday, August 11, 2011

Communion Contemplations

(I started this post on Sunday...didn't finish it until now..which is why it says today is Sunday)

We went to church this morning..which would usually go without saying since it's Sunday and I'm a PK (preacher's kid) and an ex-Sunday School teacher, ex-choir member, ex-VBS director...and a follower of Christ....well, that in itself brings up some interesting issues.  When we say "follower of Christ"....what exactly do we mean by that?  I mean, is that like "I follow so and so's blog"?  As in, I read their blog, find it interesting, and then go about my business.  On occasion, something that you read on said blog might be brought to memory and may be implemented in your own life.....or perhaps, something in the blog may cause you to think more on an issue...but, to be a follower of Christ.....what does that mean?  Ok...maybe at some point I can delve more in to that...not because I have the answers...but, because I have a lot of questions, and a lot of the time, I seem to get more insight when I think/write.
So, this morning...I was at church.  And if you have read any of my past blog entries, you'll know that we have been having some....  inner turmoil in finding a new church.  Which by the way, once upon a time, when I had my own home church,  my own church family, and no worries about having to find another one, I truly could not fathom for the life of me how *some* people who called themselves "followers of Christ" just couldn't get in a church somewhere and faithfully attend.  I mean, there's a million churches out down any street in any town, USA and there's a plethora of churches...each reaching out to the "seeker" in you..  whether you want praise and worship, traditional, emerging, reformed, missionary, southern, contemporary, independent, small group, big group, inside, outside, older congregation, younger congregation, and so on and so forth...  which kinda means you can get totally swamped just figuring which buffet you want to park your keister up to...
At any rate, we went to a Lutheran church.  I was raised, going to a Lutheran church makes me feel kinda like a Mountain Dew in the middle of a table full of Dr. Peppers.
One of the main differences, in style, is the way Communion is done.  At a Baptist church, or mine anyway, the juice and bread is sent down each pew, you get yours, and pass it down.  At the Lutheran church, each pew gets up, goes to the front, and receives it from the pastor....who says something upon giving it to you.  At some, they kneel before receiving it.  That is way different to me....something about going up and being served.  And I've resisted doing it...just because. At first I thought perhaps I wasn't doing it because (one) it's different in style than I'm used to....and (two) it almost seemed to me like allowing someone to wash your feet ...which would be very humbling...and I just didn't feel like I could receive, it makes it more intimate.  BUT, Sunday, I'm sitting in church and Communion gets started and I'm thinking...  what is the emotion that Communion provokes?  Is it one of sorrow and contrition because of the gift He gave that you KNOW you don't deserve?  or is it one of joy and gratitude because of the gift He willing gave you?  Which then led me to thinking of the fact that it was a gift...and maybe when I don't do Communion, maybe I'm refusing that gift...or maybe not the gift itself, but the reminder of the gift.  And why would I be refusing that gift?  And then I thought, "Oh my I refusing it because I'm stubborn??"  Which was a simply horrifying thought to have.  I mean, maybe it's like I'm saying, ", thanks.  I don't need that..  you can keep it."  And why would I do that?  I mean, is it because I don't truly trust Him?  Because let me tell you, I have trust issues....  I veer right on being so stubborn that I won't let anyone do anything for me.  I have learned from various incidents in life, that if you want something done, you do it depend on yourself.  And I suppose I carry that over to Him.  It's hard to accept a gift that you don't feel like you deserve.  It's hard to open yourself up and believe sometimes.  It's difficult to desire.
When you have faith....and hope....sometimes it results in your heart becoming soft...and letting down your guard is painful...
But, I think that's what maybe following Him means..... an awareness of your need...and learning to not be afraid of your neediness...maybe.  I don't know.  I don't even know if I'll do Communion for sure the next time it comes around. I just know that there's a lot more going on than just a resistance against "style"...

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