This Thursday, as part of our Maundy Thursday/ Holy Week service. I was asked to help serve communion.
Communion has always been a powerful metaphor and symbol of my faith, however I did not expect to find serving communion so meaningful.
After a little awkwardness – I tried to take the plate away from our pastor while he was attempting to serve the meal to me – then later I wasn’t sure if I should pick up the bread and hand it to each person or if they were supposed to select the wafer of their choice – I feel into the rhythm. Still not sure that I was doing it right.
Our Maundy Thursday is small and sweet. We remembered the foot washing with a hand washing station and sang many hymns. As each person came to the altar I was able to greet them by name as I served the bread before they moved to my left to dip the bread in the cup held by my friend and colleague.
“Kim, this is the Body of Christ, broken for you.”
“Vivienne, this is the Body of Christ broken for you.”
One of my ninth graders came forward –
“[Charlie] this is the Body of Christ broken for you.”
I was disarmed by his response, and realized this is not just an empty ritual, but each time I gave a piece of bread to someone I was able to proclaim the Gospel, the good news that our God loves you so much that in Christ Jesus he allowed his body to be broken, he became obedient to death, even death on a cross…(Philippians 2).
With each person I served, I felt the importance of this act grow within me. I get to tell the story of God’s love 10 times in a minute. If the service had been larger I may have started to weep.
If your denominational tradition allows lay people to serve communion – volunteer to help serve one Sunday or on a special day like Maundy Thursday. Four days later, after spending the morning celebrating the resurrection, this remains the most meaningful piece of my Holy Week.
Be blessed this Easter Season. Remember the one whose body was broken for you, and look for places to share that story with one another.
One of the best books on Communion I have ever read is Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles. Disclosure – if you buy this book through this link, I receive a small portion of the cost.