The Third Self Righteous Church of Dunkers & Sprinklers shared Holy Communion this lovely morning. It was a most solemn and reverent occasion, moving the parishioners and even the most otherwise lackadaisical or ambivalent attendees to think deep thoughts about themselves.
The sacred gilded dishes were taken out of storage, dusted off, and the hardened on bits of whatever, were scraped off with pious and pre-ordained – maybe even pre-destined – thumbnails. After a significant search of the sanctuary storage rooms, the cellophane bags of Cap’n Crunch like wafers were found and opened. They were ordered just for “such a time as this.” The breadish pieces were poured into the gilded plates and covered with the Holy Gilded Lid.
In order to keep up with the times and stay relevant, the tiny little cups were filled with city tap water to represent the blood of Christ. Last year, a parishioner who had a record of being a generous donor, thus having close to a controlling amount of stock in the Church, pointed out that neither grape juice nor wine suited his delicate palate, so the drink was changed to water so that each worshipper, in accordance with his or her or its or their own conscience, could apply whatever flavor packet they so chose to make the “blood of Christ” suit them more personally. Some brought Kool-Aid (lots of choices); some Gator-Aid (replenish those electrolytes and get back on the mission field!); and some brought some sort of pink powder they said would help them shed the weight of the sin they were carrying around (due to no fault of their own – generational, of course). As the plates were cautiously passed to and fro, and each administered their own individual flavors so as to make the Saviour more pleasing, the Church as a whole smiled contendedly as they shared warm thoughts of how relevant and non-exclusive they felt in their spirits.
Just as the golden drink dishes were being brought back up to the altar, the most religious right reverend R. Rector was regretting his choice not to order raisin bread as an alternative to the wafers. But he dismissed this thought as the elders were now gathered round the altar and it was show time.
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
And the congregation took the wafers, noticeably and collectively winced at the flavorlessness of it, and choked down the tiny little square centimeters, wondering why “Christ’s body” couldn’t be any more tasty and pleasant. Right Reverend R. Rector took note and promised himself to order the raisin bread, and maybe some chocolate next year, to attract more seekers.
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:25
And the parishioners took the cups, each altered before the altar of their own will, and enjoyed their own Gospel. Because, after all, they were “Creationists.”
Finally, the Bride of Christ listened to a performance of faith based electronic music, picked up their Starbucks cups to wash away the other tastes, and returned to their real lives.
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 1 Corinthians 11:27-29
May we, the Church, dismiss relevance as a priority over reverence, and accept the Gospel as Christ gave it, rather than watered down and re-flavored to our suit our own wills, understandings and comforts.