Posts Tagged: "Communion"

Role Reversal Communion Had Me Crying

- - Life With God, Uncategorized

At YOUTH last night, Pastor Andy gave a message about belonging. He talked about his love of the Muppets – particularly how they are such a collection of oddballs and misfits, but they somehow belong together.

He also shared the passage from the book of Acts where Peter has a vision from God – and describes it like this: “God has just shown me that no race is better than any other… It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God… the door is open.” (Acts 10.28, 34-35)

Andy said church looks like the Muppets – oddballs and misfits who wouldn’t normally be together, but we are because we belong. We belong because of Jesus.

Then he started setting up communion by talking about the kinds of people Jesus spent time with and ate with: rich, poor, educated, uneducated, sick, healthy, insiders, outsiders, faith-filled, doubters…

And he talked about the people who sat with Jesus at the Last Supper (the first communion): a tax collector, a doubting Thomas, a soon-to-be denier, and even a betrayer.

Andy called out a few youth leaders to join him up front and asked… Read More

The Difference Between Being Motivated By Power And Being Motivated By Love

The church has never done well when it was latched onto power. The church has always done better when it was on the margins. —Dr. Joseph B. Modica

I suppose it would be a colossal understatement to say there is a lot of hierarchy in church.

With all the titles and positions, posturing and power-grabbing, manipulating and controlling, and the ever-present sense that we are not enough—we need to be given advice, we need to fall in line (and if we don’t we can expect some form of dismissal, disapproval, excommunication, shunning, etc.), it’s no wonder people say they don’t… Read More

When You Sit Alone At The Table It Becomes A Desk

I have a big table in my office. Most days, I sit alone at the big table (desk) and work on my computer. We also have monthly staff meetings in there, and when everyone takes a seat, the table is filled and the room comes alive with conversation and laughter (and occasionally some tears). The best meetings are the ones where Leslie has baked something and brought it in to share. This is true for all gatherings, but it is particularly significant among Christians…

When I hear bread breaking, I see something else; it seems almost as though God never meant us to do anything else.  So beautiful a sound, the crust breaks up like manna and falls all over everything, and then we eat; bread gets inside humans. —Daniel Berrigan

Communion (The Lord’s Supper, Eucharist) is a big deal at our church. In fact, it is really the centerpiece of our gathering. We received communion together on Sunday and I’m still thinking about what Pastor DJ Marin said before inviting everyone to come to the table. He… Read More

Seeing What They Carry

At church the other night, I noticed something happen during our 5pm service…

a family came in late, just after the ushers had finished passing around communion. This family found seats in the back.

I watched as two ushers hustled over to them with communion trays – they wanted to make sure everyone had been served, that everyone had the opportunity to receive the bread and cup.

This pleased me immensely. I was proud of their reaction.

And it struck me: the cup and the bread are tangible. Easily observable. Either people got them or they didn’t.

Of course our ushers want to make sure everyone has at least been given the opportunity to receive them. This is only reasonable. One could scan the room and see who is holding the bread and cup and who is not…

By looking, we can see what they carry—whether their hands contain communion or whether they are empty.

There are also (many) other things we carry that are not so visible, not so obvious, not so easily detectable.

How many people come through our doors – or into our lives – and are carrying… Read More

Cops, Convicted Felons, Communion, & Church

*picture above: Barry (left) and Don (right) at church together last night

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Cops, convicted felons, communion, and church… these concepts might, at first glance, seem like they are worlds apart, but if we pause and think about it long enough, we’ll see how beautifully they go together.

Barry shared his story at church last night. He committed a violent crime when he was 13 years old, was sentenced to die in jail – life without the possibility of parole. The youngest in our country to ever receive this sentence, Barry was placed in a Washington state adult prison at the age of 15. It is a miracle that he is out today. Because of the work of Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative, the laws have been changed making life without parole sentences no longer possible for children.

Massey03

 

After serving 29 years in prison, Barry Massey was released because of these new reforms. He has never stepped foot inside a high school, and has never driven a car, having spent his teens, twenties, and thirties behind prison walls.

Don, a Seattle police officer who attends our church, was also at the… Read More

I Fell In Love With A Table

This is the story of how I fell in love with a table…

From growing up in the church, there are two things I remember about communion:

1) I remember it passing me by because I was too young, apparently. So I watched my parents receive. I could smell the grape juice on their breath when they would whisper something to me afterwards. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t included – because I knew that I was included in every other meal my family had.

2) When I was “old enough” to receive, we had another pastor at that time. What I remember was how this pastor seemed bored with communion and in a hurry to get on with the real show. He said the same exact lines every time at the speed of an auctioneer.

Twenty years later, I have… Read More

Whispering Shouts About These Videos

So, this is different. Generally each week I share some blog posts from around the internet that I found to be worthy of a shout out… but today I won’t be sharing blog posts. Instead, only videos. And they’re rather mellow. Chill.

I won’t bother giving any commentary, other than to say I found them to be beautiful – so I’m whispering shouts about these videos:

 

#1. VIDEO—Broken Vessels… Read More