A wedding at taco bell is clever but lacks some of the holy.
I was baptized in a hot tub. I’m still bummed I didn’t wait for a more celebratory time and space.
I am aware there isn’t a secular/sacred divide (“for the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it”). But as churches across our country spend countless dollars hiring speakers, purchasing the best tech, paying for upgrades to the building and new carpet for the floor–Don’t you think it’s time to move past cheap crackers and plastic thimbles in order to enjoy and receive the body of Christ broken for you?
Intimacy with your spouse ought to be elevated. “Quality time” with your children deserves first consideration—so too, the sacramental: the physical events, times and symbols God tells us uniquely unveil his nature, love and character.
The quality of the elements churches purchase and offer speak to us all of how highly we view the meal, especially when compared to other events in our gatherings.
It’s no secret that many of us tend to idolize the sermon, to idolize our tradition, idolize the music, idolize the community itself. We have a tendency to idolize our buildings and our programming. If you are a church worker like me responsible for creating a weekly gathering, you will be tempted to spend vastly more time thinking on such things, than on how your community enjoys the Lord’s Supper, how it will be experienced, unpacked and enjoyed.
But “This is Christ’s body broken for you.” And for all your guests, family and enemies. And it should be elevated.
Those who love Jesus, may have come to hear a speaker or lift up their hands to music, but these are secondary, and need to be viewed as secondary by service creators. Is not the experience of Jesus, and that alone, worthy of your community gathering regularly? Are not all other centering events and experiences mere idols in comparison? Should we not embrace the perspective of the Baptist, who, when many came out to him, said: “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven … [Jesus] must become greater; I must become less”?
How can churches elevate communion in their gatherings? How can we transform large church auditoriums with theater seating to showcase the table? What are the most meaningful qualities to your communion experience?
Jeff Cook lectures on philosophy at the University of Northern Colorado and he is the author of Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes(Zondervan 2008) and Everything New (Subversive 2012). He helps pastors Atlas Church in Greeley, Colorado. You can connect with him atwww.everythingnew.org and @jeffvcook