Wonder Bread Jesus

Communion in these parts tends to be celebrated with Wonder Bread and a bitter  sweet wine (or if you’re lucky a grape cocktail).  Jesus is cubed and placed on nice trays.  The liquid is poured into tiny cups.  It’s a process.  It’s a system.  It’s how it’s always been done.

The problem I have with this is that Jesus is not sweet wine, grape cocktail or Wonder Bread to me.  Jesus does not leave a bitter taste in your mouth.  Jesus is not foam that dissolves the instant it is placed on your tongue.  Jesus is an artisan bread.  Jesus is special vintage wine or Welch’s grape juice.  Jesus is the best of the best.  Jesus is texture.  Jesus is body.  Jesus is.

Our Wonder Bread Jesus is troubling.  Our desire to cut and cube, to keep things orderly, to have Jesus cut perfectly so we all get the same experience.  Jesus is so much more than this.  Jesus is the misshapen loaf that was lovingly created in the early morning by a baker who lives for baking.  The bread that is crafted for nourishment and enjoyment.  Each piece is filled with body and texture that we savor.  This bread is meant to be ripped apart and devoured with your hands while still hot. Like this bread, Jesus is filled with life and soul.  Jesus is an experience you remember. Jesus is something you want to experience over and over again.

How many of us would miss Wonder Bread Jesus?

Lately I’ve begun to wonder this.  This tradition and ritual seems lost on some people.  As I stand behind the table reciting the words that have been passed down for generations, I hear the conversations that take place in the sanctuary.  I also hear phones clicking and people moving.  As I move through the experience I have to wonder if they would miss this moment if it weren’t happening?  Do they understand what we are doing?  Are they really connected in the communion of the body of Christ?  Do they even know what that phrase means?

I find myself imagining a different way.  I drift towards an image of family style communion held around a table or two.  Where people gather together in a room or in a hall and celebrate the feast of our Lord as a true feast.  What if loaves were passed and cut and enjoyed.  What if jugs of wine and juice were found on tables and people filled their cups and celebrated community.  The feast would be blessed.  The Lord would be invited into the gathering.  It would be a celebration.  There would be a time of sharing so that people would know what this moment was about.  They would learn what the ritual truly means.  They would become part of the experience.  It would be a living moment of faith.  I think we need to work towards more living moments of faith.

Would you miss the Wonder Bread Jesus?

10 responses to “Wonder Bread Jesus

  1. Wow, this is a really wonderful (no pun intended 🙂 ) post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. you need to check out the Maundy Thursday Seder Supper, celebrated in table groups, ending with communion in the same table groups. I have worshipped this way in other places and it is so full of meaning…. not to mention that if you drink all four glasses of wine the supper calls for, it can be quite intoxicating…

  3. I never learned the true meaning of communion growing up Lutheran until I had a spontaneous spiritual awakening and Christ became physically present in the bread and wine. I was transported with Yeshua into his joyful, peaceful,alive Presence. I wish that there was more time after drinking and eating the body to savor and rest in His Presence. Churches sadly are not attuned to deep spiritual experience.

  4. I have often longed for communion like you described…sitting around a table, breaking chunks of bread off & passing the loaf to the next person. Goblets of wine. Eating & drinking our fill of His body & his blood instead of tiny tastes. Talking and laughing…fellowshipping…remembering. Must like the Last Supper must have been.

    I wondered if I was the only one who felt this way. I’m glad to know I’m not.

  5. good for you Becky (and beautifully written, I might add) – just the other day I had a conversation bemoaning the fact that we celebrate (4 or 5 time a year, so it stays “special”) at the table of our King, and the best we can do is croutons and Welches…Would Jesus come to a party like that?

    I’m with you – bread freshly baked – hunks of it, not crumbs – excellent wine, and enough to taste. This is meant to be (among other things) a celebration of the abundance of God. now, if only we could convince our congregational historians to sell the silver communion sets and break out the corelle for the feast…

    • Thank you Jeff! I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. A true feast with food and drink would be a real celebration. A real time of thanksgiving for the gifts we’ve been given.

      I’d love to see the looks on people’s faces if we were successful in removing the communion sets in favor of normal tableware. Oh the horror! 🙂

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