Sunday, July 29

Ramen at the Lord's Table

I have some not-so-healthy habits. I stay up too late. I drink too much coffee. I eat things that remind me of college, like ramen noodles and mac-n-cheese. These are non-meals, but I do enjoy real meals, and find the conversation with friends as much of a feast as the eating.

I am eating solitary late-night ramen wondering when it is that the Lord's Supper became a non-meal. When was it that this luxurious table was splintered down into a tiny wafer and a sip of syrupy grape juice concentrate, and/or cheap wine?

And when did it become so boring? I really would like to enjoy this sacrament with celebration. But it seems that in order to "do this in remembrance," my culture has told me that I have to be sullen and serious and sad. But I do not think a meal in the wake of a Risen Jesus should be so. He's alive, kids. Everybody mango!*

* a silly phrase recently developed which denotes summer-sun/fun/laughter/dancing.

(Ramen Noodles by Mochick)


lisa said...

Oh, Nelly, you already know how much I agree with you. The niblets that suggest we get a tiny taste of grace alone in a crowd.... sigh. We broke bread with our summer team here at table the other night and it felt good.

You will come break bread with us soon, yes?


elizabeth said...

i love how meals were such an important part of a relationship back in the, those two kids on the road to emmaus didn't even recognize Him until they sat down, had a meal and some good conversation.

elizabeth said...

and p.s., i'm glad you're ok. thanks for writing. :)

Sarah said...

Great question. Periodically I have wondered how communion could be more festive as well.

I had an interesting experience when a girl asked me if I would help serve communion one Sunday. I had never had an interest at all in serving communion, but they needed help so I said yes. It was really wonderful. I had never realized how people take communion differently, I had assumed there was only one way--the way I did it. It was really fun to have that personal connection with each person, looking them in the eye and offering them the body of Christ and them receiving it in their own personal way. Back in high school I thought communion was a time for me to be super introspective and spiritual, but now I prefer to watch my community and pray for them as they go up the isle. And that usually gives me an unexplainable joy/peace about being a part of the whole--even when I barely know many of them on a personal level. Some day I will, either here on in the kingdom come.

Jenelle said...

Tiny tastes of grace accurate way of putting it. I suppose some would be grateful for just that, but there is so much more.

Yes! I will come break bread soon!

Jenelle said...

Great point about the Emmaus kids. It does seem that sharing a real meal with someone translates into them knowing you for who you really are. Meals bring recognition. I like that.

Jenelle said...

Thanks for sharing that picture of your community. Being there with you that Sunday evening in Brooklyn gave me such joy, particularly because there is such a sense of family there. I really like that you secretly prayed for each one of them, as they came forward in their unique nibbling way.

(Is that Intercession for the stars? Ha.)

You're right, though, we find something that is comfortable to us, and then we make it religious ("it's the only way it should be done.") I'm afraid I do that all of the time in my attempts to be more irreligious I actually become religious, accidentally. Even in the reaction to something religious we codify our actions. Isn't that gross?

cari said...

Hi Jenelle, no, I haven't really read Buechner but have heard of him and copied down your post into my journal. I was just wondering if you received anything from me before you went back East, at your Volvo family's house? I didn't know whether there'd be enough time for it to get there when I sent it... probably should have just sent it to the address you listed, sorry. (I didn't have it with me). Anyway... if you didn't, hopefully they send it to you:)

Whitney said...

This post made me smile. I agree with you, especially about the being sad and using grape juice/cheap wine part. Growing up in Italy, I know how important it is to have good meals and time together and the table and I'm used to drinking good wine instead of grape juice. Oh well

Pam said...

My favorite bestest, most joyous celebratory, remembering Jesus is alive communion ceremony was last April.

Peter and Tami Russel, led our team in a time of breaking bread. They gave us a cup, each with our name on it, it was our cup. Then, we had a loaf (i know i know, it wasn't unleavened) of bread and invited us to take a piece, and bless another person with it (we shared a story of how that person modeled Christ to us and gave it to them, praying for them) then, then it got crazy! We held our cups high (they were literal cups) and each of us shared (some shouted) a praise to God, and like a bunch of drunken fools in a bar we cheered, laughed and drank together, this went on for nearly an hour (they were big cups) as we celebrated the Communion of our LIVING KING! Tremendous. Absolutely fantabulous.

Jenelle said...

Pam, now that's the sort of celebration I'm talking about. Having just spent the night with said-Russells I can be sure that you were not fibbing on the fun. Thanks for the great memory that you wrote down. Fantabulous, indeed.

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