An insistent invitation

John 6:51-58

I grew up on a sterile communion ritual: Jesus’ flesh was never mentioned. There were neatly cubed pieces of white bread and silver thimblefuls of grape juice, but we did not talk about the blood. On Christmas and Easter the deacons wore tuxedos as if they were distributing hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party. No one sprayed disinfectant on the elements, but there was an antiseptic quality to our celebration. God was involved, but contained, cubed and carefully distributed.

My favorite moment was the ritual’s conclusion, when worshipers dropped several hundred communion cups into slots behind the pews. I liked the hint of disorder in the brief, chaotic cacophony of clinking cups.


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