When is communion not communion?
While we were in Cuba we had a time of worship on Sunday night. I blogged a little about it in my Cuba diary but I wanted to expand a though a little.
The worship focused on the strange nature of the revolution Jesus led. No guns, no political parties, no fighting and no bid for power.
He used what was at hand to illustrate his upside down kingdom. So, as part of our worship we had communion… with coke and crisps.
We didn’t have bread or wine. And even if we did have it I wouldn’t have used it because that wouldn’t have been strange. The liturgy was unusual but had all the bits and we set apart the coke and crisps from all common use. It just seemed like the right thing to do. And it caught the moment. And it was worshipful and reverent and cast the Gospel in a different light for a group of people who were out of their comfort zone and experiencing a different culture.
We used the words:
As we share these crisps and juice together we symbolise our unity in Jesus the Christ, the one who calls us to follow him, who calls us from the safety of our traditions, from our comfort zones, to journey with him.
And so at this sacred moment we re-enact the events of the night before Jesus died, when, sitting with his friends at the table, he took the bread, gave thanks, blessed it and broke it. So we take these crisps, the food that we have, the things we eat in celebration.
Jesus then shared it with them. We now do the same, breaking the crisps as the symbol of his body broken by the sins of the world.
And after sharing the bread, Jesus took the cup of wine, blessed it and then shared it with all his friends. So we take juice, the drink of daily living, the ordinary, the mundane and do the same, drinking it as the symbol of his lifeblood. A symbol of something greater. Something extra-ordinary. Something subversive. Something revolutionary.
Through the work of God the Divine Spirit, and as we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, this coke and crisps are reminders of the sacred. By sharing these crisp and juice with one another, we remember Jesus and what he was, and what he is, and what he always will be.
So come, all of you, the table is ready.
Come all of you who are burdened, and receive again these symbols, not the symbols of our tradition or our history, but symbols of our revolutionary eternity.
But I know that there will be some people who would be horrified.
So, was it communion? And if it was or was not, why?
I know what I think but I’m interested in hearing your views.