It’s hard to find a church. The church we’ve been to the last several Sundays has a few things I really love, and it has things we’re unsure about. Michael and I don’t even agree on some things. It’s easier not to go at all.
But still, yesterday I got up compelled to go again. I want to go somewhere so much. At this church it’s the music and communion that keep me coming back. The music is contemporary like I’m used to. I love hymns. Love them. But there’s something about the kick of the bass drum and hum of the electric guitar. My previous pastor said you will tend to always find God best in the way that you first met him. Maybe that’s why I like the style of music we had in my church as a girl.
But the other thing that keeps me going back – is the communion. I first really learned to appreciate communion at a big church in another town. I knew almost no one there, and it moved me immeasurably to watch so many faces stream towards the cup, dip their bread in it, and be told it was the body and blood of Christ broken and shed for them. At the church we’ve visited lately, they do communion every single Sunday. So no matter what you think of the sermon or the electric guitar or the announcements in the bulletin, you get that moment where you center on what it is we all believe. They don’t even do the beautiful communal cup with actual wine. It’s regular old grape juice in a plastic cup, and you drink it with a cracker the size of a Tic Tac. You do it in your own seat at your own pace, reflecting on the sacrifice you believe was made for you for as long or as little as you need before you partake. I miss the streaming of people to the front. But yesterday, after I had taken it, I looked up and watched as people throughout the room took their bread and ate it and then raised the cup to their lips. One here, one there, two or three at a time.
It’s my favorite part. I think somehow despite all our differences about church, all our various reasons for why people should go to church at all and what a church should do and preach and be, in that moment I get why we go. I get why we want to be somewhere together celebrating what we believe. I used to have much fancier reasons to give. And I think for some churches that moment of clarity comes through other means than communion. But for me, for now, that’s when it comes. I like how the taste lingers afterwards. Sometimes I think it’s a crazy tale on which we’re hanging all our hopes. It’s a little bit Hollywood to think one man paid a price for us all that secured our place with God in some sort of paradise for all eternity. But I believe it. And I like being surrounded by other people believing it too and drinking that juice and eating that tiny cracker with the reverence only that belief could produce.