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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

Potluck

Originally scheduled for July 21

I doubt that they have ever been worth writing down, but there are a set of rules concerning church potluck dinners.

·         Everyone is invited. It may be restricted to a group, but everybody in the group is invited.

·         By its very nature, everyone contributes to a potluck dinner. This includes those of us who are deadly in the kitchen — we bring potato chips.

·         While we all contribute, we don’t all bring the same thing. A potluck dinner consisting of nothing but creamed spinach would be considered rather disciplinary.

·         It is not a prideful competition, but a humble sharing. At least, it should be.

One of the reasons potluck dinners persist in churches is that they work. They achieve good results, some of which are related to food.

·         The basic purpose of the dinner — to feed people — is satisfied. Usually, there is food left over. Grazing bachelors soon learn this is an excellent source for au gratin potatoes.

·         Those who are newcomers to the church enjoy the hospitality. It helps them grow closer to the church.

·         It also strengthens the bonds within the church. It does this by sharing — you eat what they brought — and by contributing — they eat what you brought.

·         This is also a good example of the differing gifts given by the Spirit to the members of the church. Some are gifted at making excellent fried chicken; others of us know where Col. Sanders sells his wares.

Another shared meal in the church is that of Communion.

·         It’s an “everybody” meal. We all partake, without respect to what our spiritual gifts or position in the church might be. It’s not a competition, it’s a cooperation.

·         Like the potluck, this can be used to welcome newcomers into the fellowship. When you take communion with us, you belong with us.

The basic purpose of communion is to remember the atoning sacrifice of Christ. This ties us together, but more importantly strengthens our ties to Christ. We feed on his body and his blood, a shared meal and a shared faith. In so doing we grow stronger as Christians, closer together and closer to Christ.

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