This is a re-post of a piece by Karla Penner, which originally appeared on her Hide and Seek blog on Monday July 7, 2012.
We were in church last Sunday evening. It had been a few weeks since we had sat in the hard, upright wooden pew. (Doesn’t that sound inviting? It’s the truth though, our faith community meets in a very old, very beautiful Anglican church with the most upright backs on the pews. There is no slouching, as slouching is not even possible!)
We sang and we sat and we stood and we passed the peace. When we got up to take our place in the circle for communion, the familiar words rang out. “Behold who you are. Become what you receive.” They get me every single time.
Mike was playing violin, so the girls and I stood in our circle together, facing other parts of our community and took the piece of sweet spelt bread, then the pottery goblet in our hands and drank the (real) red wine. It was just as it is any other Sunday night.
As soon as we got back to our hard, upright pew, Sasha leaned over to me and whispered in my ear, “I loved that. It was SO good.” I squeezed her shoulder and agreed, yes, it was so good.
She was talking about the wine, you see. We’re hoping she won’t become a lush, as our 9 year old really loves the taste of the communion wine at st. ben’s. To be fair, it is good. It’s sweet and rich and lingers long after you’ve swallowed. Quite honestly, it’s delicious. And obviously, Sasha agrees.
That’s how I want “it” to be and to remain for her. Delicious.
“It” being shared faith experience. Communion. The body of Christ.
I want it to be free of expectation and hoop-jumping.
Void of regulation and exclusion.
Not about what she can’t do and who she can’t be.
I want it to be full of flavour.
Flavour on her tongue, yes, but flavours in her circle.
Heavy with differing expressions and the freedom to chase and pursue them.
Beautiful in variation and always delicious.
(It’s the delicious part that will draw her back.)
I can’t imagine better words to hear than “I loved that. It was SO good.”
May the wine draw her back again and again.
Words by Karla Penner, reproduced here with permission. Images courtesy of Sarah Hodges-Kolisnyk.