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My adult recollections of participating in the Lord’s Table at other Fundamentalist Baptist churches are completely blank. I’m sure it happened, but it was those times during those formative teen years (described in yesterday’s post) that stick with me the most.
My memories resume in the fall of 2011. This time, it’s a vastly different experience, as I’m attending a liberal Christian church. I’m sitting alone on the aisle, next to strangers. My son is in the nursery, and my husband is in Afghanistan. Only about four people in a church of several hundred even know who I am.
The lights are dim. They do this every week, but – to my surprise – every week is different. Someone gets up and says something about the gospel of Jesus. Sometimes it’s just a Scripture verse and a thought. Sometimes it’s a personal story. Sometimes, it’s a special song. No one reads 1 Corinthians 11.
Doesn’t that break some kind of cardinal rule of the Lord’s Table?
After the few words are said, the platters are passed and people partake immediately as they go along. It’s so chill, relaxed…casual even. There’s no agonizing soul-searching. It’s like the entire church says, “Let’s all stop and have a moment of silence for Jesus and what He did for us when He died for us. Isn’t He amazing?”
It’s over so quickly that it’s almost unsettling. So casual it feels almost indulgent.
Where’s all the talk about blood and veins? Is this moment of silence approach to the Lord’s Table a sacrilege?
As I look back on these weekly observances in a brief period of my life, I am thankful because they showed me that there was another way to observe the Lord’s Table. It also gave me a pause each week to think about my salvation and what Jesus did for me, a moment of silence in my darkness.
We attend two more churches before we land where we are now, at our church home. Here, for the next 5 1/2 years I do not partake of the Lord’s Table. The Lord’s Table services are held only a few times a year, on Sunday nights, when there’s no childcare. For our family during these years, we have an easy out. We couldn’t go, not with a special needs son.
From a moment of silence to actual silence…I spend these years simply pushing all thoughts of the Lord’s Table out of my mind. Because I’m not faced with attending the services, I do not have to face what it all means, or what I think about it.