Communion:  The Backstory—Early Church Roots

1 Cor. 11:17-34       7.14.19

It was a community meal, a tradition in Greek culture, very familiar across much of the Roman empire in the first days of the Christian church.  So the church in Corinth, made up of Greeks and not Jews, included the Lord’s Supper when they gathered for a community meal.  It reminds me of the way we have been celebrating the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples on Maundy Thursday for the last several years, gathered around tables, with a shared dinner that includes the breaking of the symbolic bread and the drinking of the symbolic cup as a part of the community meal.

It also reminds me of our pot-luck dinners, where all come together to gather around a common table, each one offering some part of the meal.  But then it doesn’t.  Because this practice in Corinth did not make room for all at the table. Continue reading “Communion:  The Backstory—Early Church Roots”

Access Granted!

Psalm 8, Romans 5:1-5       6.16.19

“Come on, you can do it!”  I was running as fast as I could.  My legs were burning and my heart was pumping fast.  It was raining and the course had gotten muddy.  My dad had come to cheer me on at my cross country meet in high school.  “Go, Deborah, Go!” he shouted as I rounded the turn.  Then he found his way to another part of the course and was standing there as I passed by, encouraging me on, holding his umbrella and cheering as loud as he could.  I remain grateful for his presence and his commitment to support me then and now.

“Come on, you can do it!”  Those are the best words of a father to the son or daughter trying something new or difficult, whether it is riding a two-wheeler or casting a fishing rod or changing the oil on the car or learning to play an instrument or jumping into a pool or baking a cake.  An important fatherly role is encouragement of his children.  Not everyone experiences encouraging words from their fathers, however. Continue reading “Access Granted!”