I’ve been a child, mimicking my parents as they plucked bread and plastic shot glasses of grape juice from a silver platter. I’ve heard ‘On the night that he was betrayed…’ more times than I could count. I’ve tried to make myself feel a little more about it, be a little more invested in this thing I sensed should be sacred.
I’ve been a teenager flowing hesitantly through the motions of life in American evangelicalism. The lifelong church attendee, youth group participant, Sunday school leader. I’ve sung worship songs into a microphone at the front of a sanctuary without really getting worship, later to take my seat in the pew. I’ve risen from that seat to shuffle to the altar and dip my square of Wonder bread into the chalice of Welch’s, grimace at the soggy mess, and shuffle back again.
I’ve caught a glimpse of the glory of the Eucharist, as a college student in a tiny church with sunlight streaming through the windows. I’ve been moved by the sensory experience it’s meant to be. I’ve walked to the front singing, felt my fiancé kiss the back of my head before we take our places and cup our hands. I’ve felt the pastor press a chunk of yeasty bread into my waiting hands and speak blessings, felt the bittersweet warmth of cheap red wine tickle my throat as I return to my seat, having proclaimed the Lord’s death.
I’ve spent a weekend in New York City, exploring and trying great food and spending time. I’ve sat around different tables, sharing sangria and tapas and Chinese food and stories, passing plates and breaking bread with my dear new Jewish family, and it felt a lot like Communion. It felt like taste and see that the Lord is good. It felt like family and union and fellowship, breaking bread together and everyone being invited to the table.
I’m learning to sense the ways that everything is sacred.