(Note: A severe meditation on one of many things I’m wont to say: Jesus, ofttimes, would have a better reputation in the world were it not for the church. As I am a Christian, this meditation, as much as anything else, though an outward and broad observation, is a self-confession-and-critique.)
joined hands upraising,
the bread, His Body,
we say we pray
then, from the Cup, the wine to taste,
but of whose blood?
His or our own?
Yea, surely, sorrowfully it is the latter…
whene’er we continue to fret
about our minor matters of pride of place,
of prominence and privilege, and…
whene’er we continue to genuflect
(first, yea, at all) at unrepentant altars
of our personal and political and theological convictions
and forsake the Commandment’s call and commission
to love God and to love and to serve the need of all
our sisters and brothers,
whate’er their race or clan or creed, and…
whene’er we continue to fight
e’en unto death,
metaphorical or literal, and…
in all these ways and more, alway
continue to forget
the meaning of His Cross
as the last
and everlasting sacrifice.
Illustration: Crucifixion (1880), Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (1844-1916)
2 thoughts on “Communion?”
Holy Cow!! Should I be embarrassed to share that I’ve never thought about whose blood it is when we share communion? I know I may be missing your entire point, BUT I it became stuck in my heart and mind. The other thing that popped into my mind was the memory of my childhood when my grandmother would tell me and / or my cousins that we didn’t deserve to take communion on the Sundays we had misbehaved because that’s not the image / behavior that God expected from us. She would let us know when we could partake again. I would always behave because I wanted communion so I could be mire like Jesus. I’ll continue to reflect on this!!
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Loretta, this post flowered out of my musing on how far short we Christians – AND I as a Christian – and the church fall from the righteousness of God as reflected in the life and ministry, the death and resurrection of Jesus. The more I reflected on this, particularly in light of the general scope of failings that I cite (all rooted in our human sin of self-focus, self-centeredness, self-importance, etc.), all of which, for me, bear the element of our warring against and killing one another, the more I saw the shedding of blood as a symbol/metaphor for our human, God-defying self-hatred. Admittedly, this is not a pleasant thought or idea. It isn’t meant to be. Still, I do not fling this as criticism of Christians or of the Christian Church alone, but rather, as I indicate in my prefatory note, at myself as a mark of my personal confession of my sin and my critique of my failure. Love