Thursday, April 28, 2011

Book Review - The Sacred Meal

I have read several books about communion lately to better understand the liturgical tradition by various denominations. To be honest, I found this book really wonderful and a little disappointing. The writing about communion itself, it's history, it's meaning is fabulous. The extra information and the stories that accompanied them are a little hard to connect to the main theme.

Here's what I did love - the remembering that communion is a practice. "To engage in a practice is to show up and not get attached to the outcome. The purpose of a spiritual habit is to help us stay awake." I liked the reminder that communion is meant to be done together, with a group of fellow believers just as Jesus shared it with the disciples. The overall theme of this book is to experience communion. "This is how change happens. One step at a time. One prayer at a time. One wafer and one cup at a time. That's why communion is called a practice."

What I'll take the most from this book is that receiving communion forces us to be real. We bring all that we have to that alter - the good, the bad, and the ugly and trust that we are still welcomed by Him who loves us and wants us. "When I opened my hands I got dizzy with vulnerability. It's dangerous opening your hands - you don't know what will end up in them."

There's so much argument about communion - is it really the body and blood? Do you have to use this brand of wafer or this kind of wine or juice? In the pew? At the alter? BLAH. Who cares. This book reminded me that it's about Him. I come. I receive from Him. I remember. And in a best case scenerio I'm changed by that sacred connection.

*For Thomas Nelson

1 comment:

Sue said...

BLAH. Who cares.

LOL! Brenda, that's how I feel about theology sometimes. It's not whether we get our beliefs "right"--it's whether we absolutely love Him and we do our best to understand and live his Word.

That said, I feel hugged from the inside when I take communion. It really makes my day!