Messy Faith,  Personal and Spiritual Ramblings,  Recovering Perfectionist

Am I Worthy? {Come to the Lord’s Table Series: Part 1}

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I’m seated behind the Clavinova at the front of the orchestra corner at our small church. I’m behind a “modesty curtain,” although neither I nor the other teens and ladies seated behind me really need it. We are all wearing skirts that come at least to our calves.

In spite of the modesty curtain, I feel very exposed.

The strains of the somber violin tug cry woefully. My head is bowed, and I try to forget about those in the audience as the words wash over me.

There is a fountain filled with blood…drawn from Emanuel’s veins…

I try not to squirm. I’m fidgety enough as it is. I know the truth of these words, but they still make me squeamish. I try not to think about blood and veins.

Why does this gross me out so much? I think with guilt. Blood is what I’m supposed to be thinking about.

The words from 1 Corinthians 11 have been read. From the first, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you…” to the last “…and the rest will I set in order when I come.” Fifteen years later I can still type these words without looking them up. I guess hearing a Scripture passage once a month for four years will do that to you.

The platter is coming around and it’s time…examination time.

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”

Am I worthy? 

When I’m 15…16…17…18…here’s what I think it means to “partake worthily”:

No. unconfessed. sin. in. my. life.

Being 100% “right with God.”

Am I worthy? 

The stakes are high here:

“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”

I’ll be honest. I’m not exactly sure what it means to be “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” But I know it’s bad. I think it’s up there with blasphemy.

“For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”


Weak and sickly.

Many die.

Am I worthy enough to take the risk and partake? 

Examine yourself. 

“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord.”

So I examine myself. I am a sinner. A homeschooled, sheltered, fundamentalist teenage sinner. The sins I worry about making me unworthy range from fighting with my younger brother over who answers the phone when mom was at the store, and being angry when I’m left out of one of our church’s little cliques. There’s the times I wasn’t diligent in my schoolwork and let myself get distracted. The times I spent too much time thinking about that boy I liked instead of “guarding my heart.” The youth of the church are struggling with having a “dating spirit,” but I’m not really involved in all of that.

Examine yourself. 

Am I worthy? 

The platter is getting closer. Decision time. It’s not as simple as passing it to the next person and surreptitiously not taking anything off of it. There is no one on either side of me. They will offer it to me. I will partake or I will motion them a quiet “no thank-you.” This means that people will know…everyone will know. I know it’s none of their business. This is between me and God, but I still ask myself the questions:

If I choose not to partake, will they wonder what I did wrong? Will they wonder what unconfessed sin has made me unworthy? 

Or do I take the plunge beneath that flood and hope I didn’t miss anything…pray I’m worthy…pray I don’t eat and drink damnation to myself.

This spiritual dance happens on the last Sunday night of every month. For four years. As I navigate through those years…15…16…17…18…I come to dread the ordeal. I try to prepare myself ahead of time: make sure I “have my devotions” on the Sunday afternoon before…just to make sure I’m “right with God.”

I sigh in relief when it’s over, still somewhat holding my breath for a few days to see if I get sick. I never do.


This excerpt was written in 2021, the beginning draft of a blog post that is now 3500 words (and counting). I’ve promised myself that this is the ONE draft I want to get finished before the end of the year. But as I logged in tonight to look at this massive draft, I feel overwhelmed at my feeble attempts to do justice to this daunting subject, The Lord’s Table. Thus, I have decided to break it into a series of several posts that will be easier to digest and navigate.

This blog series will be more memoir than instructional guide. I’m not a theologian. I’m a daughter of God who has learned that she is welcome at the Lord’s Table. This process of learning – and accepting – these truths is what I hope to share with all of you.

Come to the Table: A Blog Series About the Lord's Table Ordinance | This blog series will be more memoir than instructional guide. I'm not a theologian. I'm a daughter of God who has learned that she is welcome at the Lord's Table. This process of learning - and accepting - these truths is what I hope to share with all of you.
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Come to the Table: A Blog Series About the Lord’s Table Ordinance

Part 1: Am I Worthy? (This post)

Part 2: A Moment of Silence 

Part 3: Seven Words That Changed the Way I Viewed the Lord’s Table

Part 4: Corporate Celebration: The Lord’s Table and 1 Corinthians 11

Part 5: Disentangling (and reclaiming) the hymns of the Lord’s Table

Part 6: I’m Invited to the Table of the Lord: The Lord’s Table & Hospitality

Part 7: The Four Connections of the Lord’s Table

Part 8: Love Has a Bigger Table {Conclusion}

For those who may not know what I mean by “The Lord’s Table,” let me briefly explain. It is what is known in Christian circles as one of the two “ordinances” of the local church (along with baptism by immersion). Some people may call it “communion,” a term others avoid due to it’s similarity to the “holy communion” in Roman Catholic or Orthodox religions.

The Lord’s Table is simply a remembrance of the death of Jesus. It is something that Jesus commanded His followers to observe. I will be getting more into the theology (and its personal application) in subsequent blog posts, but here is a primer if you do not have a Christian background.



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