Wednesday, 29 June 2011


I've no wish to wade into centuries of religious debate (and, apparently, it has been debated for centuries) but I'm confused about the whole communion lark.

As far as I can see, what we now call 'communion' or 'the Lord's supper' (I can't help but have a mental picture of Jesus with his slippers on having a few crackers and a bit of cheese before bed) came from the passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before going out to die.

If that's the case, then blessing and breaking bread was a normal part of the meal (as it was of pretty much every Jewish meal at the time) and blessing the wine was just a marker that it was a special meal with a particular significance.

Whether Jesus' words about 'whenever you do this' were directed at celebrating the passover (he was Jewish after all, and perhaps assumed that people would continue to celebrate the passover - just associating it with him) or whether that's supposed to apply to breaking the bread and blessing the wine, i.e. eating together, I don't kow. But there's no indication there that he was turning it into a ceremony.

Ditto the Lord's supper during Paul's time, where there is reference to eating together and to special Love Feasts (my years in YWAM swim back to haunt me - in a good way), but again no reference to a ceremonial bit of bread and bit of wine taken in isolation at the end of a service.

Where's that all come from?

And what's happened to the subversive 'show no favoritism, invite the lowly, eat with tax collectors' demonstrations of the Kingdom of God, which start with breaking the bread and blessing the wine putting Jesus right in the centre, and remembering that he's the reason that we gather?


  1. Maybe we should have communion during the wainwright brunch this saturday?

  2. @ Becky...

    Perhaps we need to do the Wainwright brunch *as* communion on Saturday?

    I think what I'm trying to say is that I can't find anywhere in the bible that 'communion' as we do it is mentioned and I'm beginning to think that it's a ceremony that doesn't do much except separate us from the practical glory that is present in the meals that Jesus would have had.

    I think I'm right in saying that the expression 'break bread' in NT times, just meant 'eat together'. So, doesn't any meal become 'communion' by simply inviting Jesus to be there and recognising that he's the whole reason that we've come together.

    Maybe that's just saying grace.

    I'm a bit staggered by the implications of what I'm suggesting, but determined to work out what I really do think.