Saturday, January 29, 2011

Holy Communion

“The Sacred Meal” by Nora Gallagher, one of eight books in, ‘The Ancient Practices Series’, published by Thomas Nelson.

This is a book about holy communion, the eucharist, the Lords supper or whatever you may want to call it. It is a time when the church celebrates the last supper with wine/grape juice and bread/cracker which symbolizes the body and blood of Jesus, which was shed for our sins. Some churches celebrate this weekly, some quarterly and others (like our church) on occasion.

This book is not a deep theological treatise on the meaning of the elements, nor is it a polemic in trying to convince us how often and what mode communion should be served. For the most part it is a book of practical, real life, stories in which the author ties in or at least tries to tie in the meaning of communion.

In the very first chapter the author shares the story of a family, who had just been notified, that their daughter was lost in a possible airplane crash. As many were searching and praying for the lost plane, communion was a web that stitched them all together, the human with the divine.

In other areas she shares stories to show that communion is a practice that makes us both aware of sin and makers of Gods kingdom. It helps us to understand that we are recipients of Gods blessing, Gods favor-grace.

Some choice quotes from the book include:

-“Transformation occurs in encounters, sometimes better named collisions, either with the self or with others or with the holy.” P.60
- “…communion is an act of the imagination” p.94
- “To be exalted by heavenly standards is to urge others to be exalted, too, to share in the bounty of being loved and loving.” P.128

This book will not make you change any of your communion/eucharist rituals but it may help you see communion in a number of different ways.

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