Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We are the body of Christ*

On Sunday morning, I got to do something that I've never gotten to do before at Highland: serve communion at the front. Every couple of months, we deviate from our usual ritual of passing the trays, and instead stack the trays of matzo crackers and grape juice on half a dozen tables at the front of the auditorium. The praise team sings while the congregation files up, in no particular order, to the servers who stand at the tables, and everyone shares the body and blood of Christ with hugs, smiles, words and tears. This is the way we do communion at St. Aldates, and more or less the way we do it at Lifeteam. I have always found it uniquely powerful, and this time I got to be a server. I held the body; Jeremiah stood next to me, holding the blood. And I had to swallow tears several times.

Nearly first in line was my friend Kathy Reppart, a longtime companion at ladies' coffee nights (it's been just the two of us several times this summer). I gave her a hug and said, "The body of Christ...given for you," and then had to stop so I wouldn't start sobbing. This woman has been the body of Christ to me. She has been a steady, laughing, warmhearted presence; she has listened to me ramble about books and movies and weddings and Oxford, joys and frustrations and plain old life. I was so honored to share the body of Christ with her and her husband, Mike.

The Popes, an older couple who always beam at Jeremiah and me when they see us, came up with their granddaughter; Tina, who had my job before I did, came up to hug us both. I served Jason and Amber, my former landlords; our friend Kendra and her three kids; a few people I knew from Bible class; one lady I met at the courthouse this spring when I had jury duty; and so many children, most of whom don't usually get to take communion, but who seemed to enjoy it - and understand - at least as much as the adults.

The body of Christ, given for you. The blood of Christ, shed for you. Taking His body makes us His body, and His blood blends with our blood and makes us whole. This is a great mystery - one that never fails to amaze me. How blessed I am to be, sometimes, "the hands that serve the wine and the bread and the sons of the earth."

*from "We Are the Body of Christ"

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to have been there, Katie, to share with you and with Jeremiah.
Judy Gibson

6:55 PM  
Blogger Candy said...

I love it when we do communion that way. It is always a moving experience. Great description of the mystery.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Katie,

I was one of those who was blessed to be served by you and Jeremiah. My parents were also servers that day. I had a dilemma--do I go to my mom and dad or to a couple who has encouraged and challenged my journey of faith. I read both of your blogs and I feel as though I have been through the mountaintops and valleys of your relationship. You both are such a blessing to Highland and to me. Thanks for being the hands and heart of Christ!
Lauren Cunningham

12:28 PM  
Blogger J A Dunham said...

Thanks for reminding of what communion is all about...

God bless!

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Julie Rich said...

i, too, loved being served by y'all sunday :) and, i love your description of it.

2:28 AM  
Blogger Cole said...

Of course, there IS one little difference between this type of communion at Highland and at St. Aldate's (hic)....

2:48 AM  
Blogger MLM said...

Very lovely and moving description of serving and receiving communion...and so much of what the "Body" is all about.

Did you spend time in Oxford? I'm new to your blog, but your comment made me wonder. I studied there briefly about 10 years ago and look forward to the day I can return.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Yes, we know a thing or two about English crushes, don't we? :) I hope your weekend in Midland has been wonderful, and I look forward to lunching with you this week!

{Love this post, by the way.}

7:18 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

beverly's dream worship 45 minutes of communion time and then the rest where people go forward and tell what they learned that week in their walk..don't tell mike *wink*

4:24 PM  

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