Friday, May 10, 2013

Inappropriate Communion Thoughts: Not That Cracker

One of the roles I am honored to serve in with my congregation is that of communion thought-deliverer.  In my tribe, we partake of the communion offering every week as a reminder of Christ's sacrifice.  And it's the role of this thought-deliverer to help the congregation think about the sacrifice and the gift and the meaning of the little bit of cracker and little bit of juice we share.  It is a role I take with great honor because I have tremendous respect for the sacrament of communion.

This does not, however, keep me from having bad ideas about what to say.  Not necessarily bad, but a wide range of inappropriateness - from mildly to wildly inappropriate.  Things that make me smile because, yes, that's how God made me, but that I would never actually say in front of my congregation in that moment, in that role, because communion is more beautiful, more respectful, more meaningful than that.

At the same time, why let these mildly- to wildly-inappropriate ideas go to waste?  This is an ongoing series as bad ideas continue to flow through my brain and get caught in the filter that separates the holy from the wholly inappropriate.

May they amuse you, but really - don't use these.  It would be...awkward.

Not That Cracker

Every now and again, we hear the stories.  Someone has found the sign of Jesus in their food.  An image of Mary burnt onto their toast.  A cross embedded in the crust.  Well, it's happened again.  Recently, the internet was abuzz with the story of a woman who had found, in her bag of Goldfish crackers, a holy goldy.  The fish had been mis-imprinted, and she swore it bore the sign of the cross on its side and a mark of the crown of thorns just above its eye.

And no, I don't know why she eats her goldfish one at a time while inspecting them for irregularities.

But Jesus?  In a cracker?  Hardly.  

(Pause for ironic laughter.)

But it happens all the time.  In a world desperate, thirsty, hungry - you might say - for a sign from God, we'll take just about anything we can.  We'll take an image burnt in toast, an emblem carved in crust, an imprint in a goldfish.  We'll take a cracker.

And we're about to.

It's easy to think that this cracker is the Christ, that there is some kind of sign of the Holy One in this little bite of bread we take each week.  It's tempting to think of this as a weekly dose of Jesus, a medication that our spirits need to function, much like our bodies rely on the occasional pill or two.  But if we dare to think such a simplistic, worldly, close-minded kind of way, then what we are about to do becomes nothing more than another tabloid story.  Another Jesus in the cracker.

This is not that cracker.

This is the body of Christ, broken for us.  It's not a sign from God; it is a gift of God.  It is His very presence, His entire being, His incredible sacrifice right here right now.  It's not a coincidence.  It's not something you have to adjust your eyes to see.  It's not "cool;' it's awesome.

This sacrament of Communion, this simple bread and blood, is the most holy thing we do on a Sunday morning.  Don't let your mind twist it into a tabloid.

Jesus in a cracker?  Seriously....

Note: This works incredibly well in my head, also inappropriately, if it also happens to be April Fool's Day and you also happen to have replaced the communion wafers with goldfish crackers.  

You can read previous inappropriate communion thoughts here:  Eat Me and Holy Vampires.

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