"Wes, what does Communion mean to you?" someone asked me a few weeks ago. I thought for a second and replied, "It really depends on the day."
I'm in a place in my life where I am celebrating a great deal of uncertainty about the meaning of the sacrament of Eucharist. I shouldn't really call it uncertainty, maybe it's more of an undeveloped collection of certainties. I have been learning about Eucharist and I have at least some level of grasp on what it's about, but that's just the thing, I don't think it's about just one thing. It's about remembering and it's about Solidarity and it's about community-fellowship (Koinonia) and it's about Covenant. It's about life and it's about death. It's about many things and in my reflection, depending on the day, I tend to focus on one or two from the variety of meanings. (I hope this is not a consumeristic approach... I don't think it needs to be).
Tonight, it was simple. As we took the bread together at APU's Liturgical chapel service (hands down my favorite chapel at APU) I continuously thought, 'this is bread.' We don't really treat it like bread and wine, do we? We usually treat it in such a way that it looses it's physical breadiness and wineyness (yes, I made those words up). Tonight, for me, it was really bread and really sweet wine (grape juice). This did not downplay anything, especially the spiritual depth of the experience. If anything, the spirituality of the experience was enhanced through the reminder of the physical nature of the meal. It was a reminder to me that Christ's bodily sacrifice is not merely spiritual but was for a very physical purpose as well. It was a reminder that Christ's body is bread for us... food.. sustenance. Not just bread for my spirit but food for the hungry, not just salvation for my soul but justice for the excluded. It's about bodies and blood, not merely souls and spirits. We eat and we drink in remembrance that bread means life to the poor and that Jesus body was broken for all, not just the privileged.