Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Communion Part I

Over the years I've been writing this blog, I've talked a little about my evolutionary spiritual life.  But for those who are relative newcomers, here's my church affiliation in a capsule:  Methodist for fifty-three years, member of the Unity Church for six years, not much going on for two years (although technically still a Unity member).

If I were to break down my spirituality into eras it would look like this:

Jesus Loves Me But God Can Be Really Mean Era (newborn to twelve)

Churches Have Rules and You Have to Obey Them to Get to Heaven Era (Confirmation to eighteen)

Church?  I'll Go to Chapel on Wednesdays and Only Because It's Required Era (Meredith years)

I Sure Hope God Isn't Really Watching Me All the Time Era (young adulthood)

We Need to Go for the Children Era (thirties and forties)

Hmmm.  I Might Need to Rethink This Religion Thing Era (fifty to present day)

Two things have remained important to me through all these years: the music and the community.  I love every song that is ever sung in church and I enjoy the company of fellow travelers on the path to...whatever we're on the path to.

Two things that I have wanted to leave behind are the fact that churches are by necessity businesses and there's a lot of talk and pressure about money, and the image of myself as an unworthy person who is incapable of becoming Christ-like without the 'shedding of blood.'

So now we get to the picture above.  Please try to ignore the good-looking guitar player on the right and look over to the left of the photo where you will see a table laid out for communion.

I've been going to the night service at my old Methodist church (where I was a member for twenty-five years) because I am a great admirer of the guitar player and the Fairmont Gospel Revue, a band that has been playing at that church for about fifteen years.  On this particular Sunday, I was jarred by the presence of The Table.

Next week I'll tell you about my thinking over the next thirty minutes of that service and what I did about my dilemma of whether to take communion or not. Then the week after I'll share some of the research I did about communion so I could better understand the deep roots and evolutionary meaning of it.

Stick around.  I hope it's going to be interesting!


russell1200 said...

The deep roots.. that should be interesting.

In any case it is fairly obvious that some early Christians did not celebrate communion as a last-supper ritual, but even they had similar shared meal type rituals.

If I had to take a guess, it became more standardized after the church reaction to Marcion and his teachings - teachings which helped to bring about the start toward standardizing written scriptures into bundled together gospels, and also brought Paul's letters into a more prominence.

mamie said...

As always, Russell, I enjoy your comments to my posts. As I said, I hope you'll stay tuned!