By the Patheos Team
Bread and wine. Ordinary elements that take on extraordinary meaning in the Christian sacrament of Communion. Depending on your tradition, the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ, or more symbolically express our deep connectedness to the person and ministry of Jesus. In every case, this central act of our faith is one that holds great mystery, again and again. On the occasion of World Communion Sunday, celebrated in many churches the first weekend in October, we decided to invite some of our favorite bloggers to reflect on what communion means to them. Specifically, we asked them to consider: "Why I Take Communion" . . . and as usual, we asked them to do it 100 words or less. Their responses follow. We invite you to add your own reflections in the Comments box below.
Monica Coleman, Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology
Steve Thorngate, Assistant Editor at The Christian Century Magazine
Amy Julia Becker, author and student at Princeton Theological Seminary
Carl Gregg, Pastor of Broadview Church in Calvert County, MD
Christine Sine, co-founder and Executive Director of Mustard Seed Associates
Bruce Epperly, Professor of Practical Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary and co-pastor of Disciples United Community Church in Lancaster, PA
I take communion because I am hungry for a place of radical acceptance, where the tragedies and hopes of life are confronted. I am hungry for food that reminds me God's love is so abundant it feeds the whole world. I take communion because I have been hungry for the wrong things. I have wanted to name God all by myself, to exclude others, to feast on my own apathy and be left to my own devices. At the table, I am reminded of my hunger --and of the Only One whose bread does not leave me empty.
Danielle is the pastor of Journey Churchin Dallas. She is the author of The Boundary-Breaking God: An Unfolding Story of Hope and Promise and blogs at Danielle Shroyer.com.
When I take communion, I view the unsliced bread as Christ's body during His ministry. When broken, it represents his passion for the Church. When eaten, I feel that we join in fellowship with Him despite the theological differences that may exist in the body of Christ.
I believe that the wine, representative of Christ's blood, also represents God's Spirit. When I partake of this sacrament, I am reminded that all Christians are united in the Spirit of God. Therefore, I take communion in remembrance of Christ, His mission, His suffering, His Spirit, and our place in the Kingdom of God.
Crystal is a progressive Christian who writes a blog called Jesus Was A Heretic, Too. She is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at Wesley Theological Seminary.