Me: Mom, what’s Communion?
Mom: Well, Communion is a very important time when everyone in church comes together. They read their bibles and then serve snacks.
Me: Is that when everyone drinks Jesus’s blood?
Mom: Some people believe it’s blood, but it’s not. What they are really drinking is something that comes in little packets.
And, you know what, my little sister, Nel, and I knew the secrets of Communion ever sense we were little bitty preacher’s kids helping mom, dad and some members of the church mix four parts water with one part Welch’s Concentrated Concord Grape Juice.
The directions called for three parts, but, after all, we were Baptist!
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
As a kid, it was hard enough getting my head around the fact that just by stirring four parts water with frozen grape juice it transformed into Jesus’s blood, much less that his body was really made up of little square pieces of Wonder Bread.
My job was to cut the crust off each slice of bread first with a sharp knife.
My sister and I were not allowed to cut the bread into squares … mom was afraid we would cut ourselves.
And when he had given thanks, he broke it (the bread) and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Somehow, I felt special knowing only a few trusted grown ups knew these secrets, and other than my sister and me, no kids.
Even now, I want to remind my mom that Jesus’s blood doesn’t come in packets … it comes in cylindrical containers.
For all I know, I may be the only one left who remembers these genuine, original, tall order recipes. After all, mom, you’re the one who let me in on our little family secrets and taught me how to make this magical, mystical stuff, loaded with faith and symbolism that was way beyond my grasp, once upon a time, a long, long time ago.
All I knew back then was that we weren’t just helping “build strong bodies 8 ways” … we were helping build everlasting souls.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
I love it, as always. I wonder how many Baptist children have walked the aisles and joined up, at least in part motivated by wanting to get some grape juice in church? Thanks for the blog, Tom. Keep ’em coming!