Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ellen feasting

There is a young girl -- five or six years old -- who comes with her mom to the table for the Eucharist. She is a good bit taller than the communion table; from my vantage point it just barely covers her chest. She arrives at the table ahead of her mother, and takes a nice piece of bread. It's not the biggest piece, but it is sufficient. She has to lean to see into the eye-level chalice. Standing a bit away from the table, she carefully dips her bread into the juice, just halfway, which is enough.

Then, rather than cupping her other hand underneath the bread so as not to drip, this child of God stretches out so that her whole face and a good portion of her body are above the table. Then with eagerness and precision, she bites the juicy purple bread, sparing no drop, no crumb.

She chews the body and blood thoughtfully and with obvious pleasure, relishing its sweetness, and remains on spiritual tiptoe until the last bit has been swallowed. At this meal, nothing has been wasted: no food, no opportunity.

This happens every time we feast at the Lord's table: the joyful, thoughtless approach; the careful taking; the delicious bite; the poignant swallow.

We should all take communion so well.

No comments: