On the final night of our Salkehatchie mission trip, we all participated in communion. We do that every year and it’s always a meaningful service. But, this year, was a communion service like I had never participated in before.
We were all called to kneel at the alter. As we waited for the pastor to come around, he handed us each an enormous hunk of bread. I’ll have to admit that I found it kind of strange. I have taken communion at many different churches over the course of my lifetime.
Sometimes it has been in the form of perfectly round little wafers. Sometimes it’s been tiny pieces of bread. Sometimes it has been small pieces of Saltine crackers. I have stood up and knelt down and even passed the communion tray. The procedures may have varied from church to church, but one thing never changed.
The bread that represented the Body of Christ was small. This makes perfect sense because communion is remembrance and there are often many people to feed.
It’s also usually a solemn service with few words spoken as we are called to contemplate with quiet reverence, the enormity of Jesus’ sacrifice.
But, that night as I waited for the cup to come around and made a mental note of the very large piece of bread in my hand, the pastor addressed us. He told us that he was sure we had noticed the large portion of bread that we all held in our hands. He told us that grace was big like the bread that we held. He told us that we would have to spend some time chewing on that bread in our hands and that we should spend some time “chewing” on the idea of the enormity of grace.
I suspect his message was specifically meant for the teenagers present, but it struck a cord deep in my own heart.
How often do we just breeze through communion and life for that matter, taking grace for granted? It’s complete forgiveness of sins, forgiveness for anything we have ever done. It’s the bridge to a relationship with God and to Eternity. It’s huge, but like the communion service, we can sometimes allow it to become commonplace.
When the pastor finished offering us all the cup, he pointed out all of the crumbs on the floor. He reminded us that grace was messy just like sin is messy.
After the service, we all went on to individually share the ways we had seen God that week. He was everywhere, but of course, He’s always everywhere just as grace is ever present, we just often don’t take the time to look.
An unconventional communion service reminded me to seriously consider and give thanks for the enormity of grace. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!