Tuesday, January 09, 2007


We had the story of the feeding of the 5,000 in church at the Eucharist today and it made me revisit some thoughts I had a while back but never blogged.

I was thinking how good it was that the focus for community in the Christian church is the common meal and that the meal Jesus asked us to particularly remember him at was one involving the simple things in life - bread and wine (mixed with water).

Holy Communion commemorates Jesus' supper with his friends and it is a meal that welcomes all.

Jesus shared meals with people on many occasions (I know there are people who've studied this in much greater depth) but it is the simple meal that we commemorate and recreate. It is a meal we can all participate in.

It's not Jesus' first meal; where he turned water into wine. Jesus did not call people to recreate that miracle each time they gathered which makes life a lot easier. Nor did Jesus ask us to remember him by taking five loaves and two fish and sharing them between five thousand people sat in groups of 50 and 100; I'm not sure which bit would be more of a challenge let alone how we'd approach the issue of welcoming vegetarians or people with fish allergies to the common meal.

No, instead of all these, Jesus chose instead the simple answer (and yet deep in meaning) as was so often the case. It was after sharing bread and wine that Jesus told us to "do this in remembrance of me" and many of us can and do across the world everyday.


Calia77 said...

I like your insight on this. I often think about this - communion and the simplicity of fellowship over a meal. I think often it's a shame we've lost some of the fellowship aspect, and that perhaps we could be more experimental with ways of sharing this with one another. Of course, that creates no end of unease in some quarters!

simo said...

I have often wondered have we taken this wonderful thing that Jesus left us with and put too much ceremony around it. I think it’s important that we come together and share as we were instructed but I have to admit there is a little part of me that even wonders if our taking of Bread and wine in essential. It seems to me that Jesus was sharing a meal with friends and he took elements of that meal and used them to demonstrate how we could use them as symbols to remember him. The question I then ask is was His intention that we get together and do communion or was His intention that we should gather with friends to eat together and have Christian fellowship and remember Him, more as a general principle of how we live our lives rather than a specific act we take part in on certain Sundays and/or other days of the week?