I married an incredible man this summer. I had three requirements on my list for a guy: must love Jesus, must be musical, and must eat onions. (Not necessarily LIKE onions, just has to be willing to eat them.) After several meals prepared with onion by my friends who knew my requirements, Jeff passed the bill with more than flying colors (and likes onions, to boot.)
While we were dating/engaged we prayed that our relationship would be a light for Christ to our friends, family and all we interacted with. When we got engaged and started planning our wedding, we wanted to celebrate communion – and per our pastor’s suggestion, decided that we should be the ones to serve our gathered friends and family the bread and juice (in our case), the elements of communion.
The more I thought about this the more excited I got about it. We were going to get to act out our prayers of being a light to our friends and relations. As the highlight of our wedding, we got to hold out the symbols of Christ’s death, to be human hands holding Jesus out to those we love and care about most. We as broken people were given the privilege of holding out Christ’s broken body, holding out the source of hope and healing Jeff and I have founded our relationship on.
Communion tends to be a rather somber practice. We are sometimes directed to reflect on our sins, shortcomings and attempt to be ‘right’ before God in receiving Him in communion. This is turned upside-down if you participate in communion at a wedding! I have never experienced such a JOYFUL time of communion. It reminded me of the promise we as Christians have ahead of us – the glorious reuniting of Christ with the Church, his bride. Instead of being about Jesus’ death, this communion experience reminded me of our reuniting with Christ as we will be in heaven, a glorious feast we will share with all those who belong in Christ.
And there were some of our friends and family who did not participate in communion with us.
Some, like my Catholic family, did not participate because their commitment to Christ involves commitment to the doctrines of participating in communion only with the Catholic church. They responded with joy that we chose to celebrate communion. I find sadness that now, the Church is broken enough that we cannot all yet participate in an event that reminds us of the reuniting to come, but Joy that one day, even the brokenness of the Church will be healed, and Catholics and Protestants will be no more, and we will all celebrate as united with Christ.
And some simply do not believe. We aim to continue to find ways to hold out the elements of Christ to them, that they might taste and see how good God is.
God, help us hold you before us in all our relationships: teach us by your radical sacrifice how much we are loved, and to love others the way we are loved. Thank you for the promise of what’s to come, the great wedding feast when the Church is reunited with Christ. Thank you for the reflections and images of that hope here on earth now: Your Kingdom Come.