31 July 2009

Adopted for Life-Chapter 7

"Often I'll preach in churches about the Lord's Supper and will call on the congregations to go back to using a common loaf and a common cup, with the bread being torn, not daintily picked up in prefabricated bits, and with each person drinking the wine and passing the cup along. I don't mind folks disagreeing with me on this. I'm just stunned by the reason they most often give for dismissing this ancient Christian practice: germs. The common cup is, well, gross to many Christians because they don't like the idea of drinking after strangers. That's just the point though. You're drinking after your own flesh and blood, your family." (Moore, p. 178)

Moore's seventh chapter is about church as a family of Christ, and its role in adoption. Too often, church is an assembly of acquaintances who dress up to stand next to one another on Sunday mornings for an hour or so with ignorant disregard for what is going on the rest of the week. These congregants are unconcerned with one another's needs and often are unwilling to roll up their sleeves and get to work together. In those churches, the Lord's supper is compartmentalized, much like their Christianity. Trays of dainty cups and cubes are passed down the aisle to be consumed because the Lord commanded it, but with no real understanding about what it means.

I do not think how the Lord's supper is observed is how Jesus intended that night in the upper room. He was with His dearest friends. They were eating together. In Luke 22:15, He said to them "I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you." He wasn't looking ahead to the church calendar so that he could avoid eating with his band of brothers; he wanted to commune with them, to connect and be with them before he entered his darkest hour. You see, that is why it is called communion--not simply because we are remembering what Christ did, but because we are communing with our brethren, as we remember.

In my heart I desire to celebrate the Lord's Supper the way Moore describes it. I want my church family to be an integral part of our adoption. I want them to be praying for us when someone in the family is sick. I want to be there for them when they are hurting, not just skimming the surface, but getting beneath the crust. I want to share their excitement when they get engaged, I want to cry with them when a loved one dies, I want to pray with them when they are feeling discouraged. I don't want to think about their germs, I want to earnestly desire to eat with my church family, as Christ did.

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