Monday, September 19, 2005

Holy Communion

There used to be a tea towel which had the description of the game of cricket on it:

CRICKET: AS EXPLAINED TO A FOREIGNER...
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

You may remember this. Well yesterday morning I was listening to a sermon about Holy Communion which began with a topical illustration about the passion we all felt for cricket and rather than listening I started trying to write an explanation of Holy Communion for a tea towel. It is work in progress but so far:

The church comes into the church to commemorate the death of someone who is still alive. The one who is still alive isn't there and a person stands up and invites everyone who is already there to come into the presence of the one who was dead and is alive and isn't there.

On a table is a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. But the bread isn't bread it is the body of the one who isn't there and the wine isn't wine but the blood of the one who isn't there. But they are still bread and still wine and still look and taste like bread and wine even when the person who said come into the presence of the one who was dead but is alive and isn't there says they are now blood and body.

The bread is food but not for those who are hungry. The wine is drink but not for those who are thirsty. The hungry and thirsty should eat and drink before they arrive.

The bread needs to be broken in order to work. If it isn't broken it won't work. The person who breaks the bread says, 'We break this bread to share in the body of the one who was dead' but this is not cannibalism or violence.

Everyone is invited to share in the bread but some churches won't let go of the cup to let this happen. Although the bread and wine are the most important bits of this ritual the cups and plates are treated as more valuable. Some churches use funny bread which sticks to your dentures.

When everyone has eaten and drunk a little bit they go in peace to love and serve the Lord. They do this by drinking coffee and talking about each other.

Some people like to eat bread and drink wine to remember the dead one every day. Some only do it on special occasions. Some still don't remember the dead one however often they do it. Others never do it but don't forget the dead one. This is not because wine makes you forget.

3 comments:

Caroline said...

given that we really don't need any more alternative worship do we?

Darren said...

As it is a WIP you could add something about ribena juice ;-) I always remember something Steve |Tomkins (Rev Gerald) wrote about communion originally being a great feast and 'love' meal, but it had been spoiled by some killjoy when they replaced this with a wafer a thimble of blackcurrant juice

St said...

Come to a proper church Darren. We use real wine.