i want to take a minute to tell you a really funny story about the 1st communion i ever served.
communion is amazing.
when you get it.
it's truly amazing for me and a powerful time of remembrance and worship.
communion is amazing when you understand it after someone explains it to you.
but if you're an outsider/ someone who is unfamiliar with Christian rituals... i can't even imagine what you would be thinking! = "What!? we're drinking some guy's blood & eating his body?"
i used to work at a big church and communion was pretty much this very rigid and extremely stuffy experience. all the pastors would line up at the front in black suits with trays of juice & crackers.
everything was always very insider focused. not very aware that someone might actually be at the church for the 1st time and not know what communion is or what to do.
we had just taken up an offering and then we started passing out the trays to serve communion.
of course i am CRAZY nervous. this 21 year old kid surrounded by peeps in their 40s-80s wondering what's up with my hair... + i'm carrying like 20 communion trays and they feel like they way 50 pounds. i just know i'm going to drop them all in this solemn moment.
what do i even do after i drop them?
anyway, thankfully that didn't happen. but it was SILENT in there. you could seriously have heard a pin drop on the carpet. and NO ONE would dare talk or make a sound.
i get to the back and there is a guy all by himself. and when i say all by himself, i mean that the closest person was literally 30 feet away from him.
from 1 look at this man everything about him screamed = "THIS IS MY 1ST TIME IN CHURCH!"... Or at least at this particular church/ kind of church. he stuck out big time.
so i gave him a big smile (because it would of course be forbidden to speak to/welcome this man during communion) and extended the plate of crackers to him for him to take one.
APPARENTLY an outsider doesn't recognize the difference between the offering plates we pass and the communion trays, because this guy DROPPED A $20 IN THE COMMUNION TRAY!
i was a little surprised and it took me a second to realize what just happened. then i handed his $20 back and said - "oh no man, actually you just take one of these."
he took a cracker, looked at me and said "thank you", and POPPED THE CRACKER IN HIS MOUTH AND ATE IT.
that may or may not sound weird to you but i know the guy felt really embarrassed about 3 minutes later when the Pastor gave this insider cue and 754 other people all picked up their cracker and ate it at the same time!
wow. pretty funny, but also pretty poignant. if we're going to invite outsiders into God's presence and actually want them to experience Him... maybe we should explain what the heck we're doing? knock down some barriers/obstacles for them? just a thought.
when i told some other staff about this guy's 1st communion 1 of them just said = "Don't tell Bob (the Business/Admin Pastor guy) that you gave the $20 back!"