As I drove home from church today, I was filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, I was filled with joy and excitement after having (nervously) served communion for the first time. On the other hand, I was deeply saddened ad frustrated by some of the mess we do, claiming to be done in the name of Jesus. Let me give you some background:
Last week, as if I had nothing better to do, I spent part of Monday morning looking at foolish videos on YouTube. I blame one of friends from Drew. His Facebook status read, "Fast forward to 1:50. This is how I'm going to dance if the Knicks get Carmelo Anthony" and had a link to a video titled, "Foolishness in Church." So, I clicked on the link, and instead of fast forwarding as instructed, I watched the whole thing. I'll spare you the whole video, not because I want to rain on your parade, but more because I don't think foolishness like this needs to get any more page hits (page hits=popularity in the virtual world). I did not laugh. All I could do was shake my head.
There was something about this video that troubled me. Let me be the first to say that although I do not attend a pentecostal/apostolic church, we at Bethesda are no strangers to the move of the Holy Spirit in worship. In the words of the song we sang today in worship, we don't mind giving God the praise. Trust and believe that, while we may lift holy hands, shout, and even cut a step, the Holy Spirit moves in decency and order. Our praise will always give God glory. My spirit was disquieted within me when I viewed this video. This morning, after serving communion, I recognized why.
If you look at the image above, taken from the foolish video, you'll notice a young man dancing on a table. Look closely. He isn't dancing on just any table. He is dancing on the Communion table. The table that house the elements of bread and wine, symbols of Christ's broken body and shed blood, is being trampled upon. To make matters worse, the juxtaposition of this man profaning the sacred table with the words on the table, "this do, in remembrance of me" cause me to wonder if we are truly remembering Jesus' awesome sacrifice, or if we are simply playing church.
And then I thought about this morning. I thought about the anticipation that hung heavy in the air of the sanctuary. I think about the Apostle Paul's words found in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26: For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on thesame night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke itand said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
I thought about our reaffirmation of our church covenant—our covenant with God and each other. I thought about how we partake of the elements so that we never forget what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. I thought about Jesus on the cross in my/our place. I thought about His bruised and bloodied body bearing the weight of my/our sin. I thought about my/our sin and how it was forgiven at Calvary. I thought about how we wait for everyone to be served and eat together as a witness of what we believe and a symbol of the unity of the body. We eat the bread in remembrance of Him. We drink the fruit of the cup in remembrance of Him. It is a solemn, yet beautiful moment. I felt honored and privileged to be able to preside over the table, to help usher people into a space of remembrance. And I know that the foolishness in this world, and even in some of our churches, can never cause me to forget...