Sunday, September 5

A communion service not easily forgotten...

Today we celebrated communion at my church. I tell you this because whenever I now partake in communion, I find that I regularly recall a particular communion experience that I had approximately 12 years ago.

Early 1998, I was attending Capernwray Harbour Bible Centre, off of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. It was a one year Bible Study type of program, without grades, tests, or credits. It was an enriching experience at that stage of my life.

One Sunday, a couple of my roommates and myself trekked off to a church that I hadn't visited before. It happened to be a Communion Sunday week, which didn't phase me at all. The only thing that causes hesitancy is in figuring out how each church handles communion and what my role as the partaker includes. Usually, from what I've seen, the leader will guide the members through the process, making it easy for anyone who is new to join in. However, this was not the case at this church.

The bread was disbursed to the congregation and because little direction was given, I treated the moment as if in my home church...I held onto the bread until everyone had received the bread, so that we could partake together. I remember a bit of silence, which was used for praying and reflection when all of a sudden, the servers start handing out the juice. Quickly surmising that I was supposed to partake on my own and was now behind schedule, I immediately popped the bread into my mouth and locked eyes with a roommate who was likewise surprised and also scarfing down her bit of bread. We smiled at each other in embarrassment but live and learn, right? Wrong!

So the grape juice comes down the row and we all pick up a little cup and pass the tray along. Within seconds, having learned above to partake when ready, my roommate and I drank our juice only to be appalled when the pastor, moments later, asked the congregation to partake together.

At that moment, my roommate and I almost lost it. Laughter started bubbling up in both of us...we were trying so hard to hold it in because, after all, we were in church celebrating a very serious act of remembrance. The mood was definitely somber and reflective and we were dying...we couldn't look at each other and were trying so hard to distract ourselves. Needless to say, we had a good laugh after we left church that day.

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