Monday, April 16, 2012

Communion With Chicken Alfredo Pizza and Grape Juice

In Is Your Child Leaving Church I commented that we can even have conversations with our children that lead to an impromptu celebration of communion with chicken alfredo pizza and grape juice.  This happened with my 4 1/2 year old on Good Friday this year.  I'd made pizza for dinner and we were having grape juice to drink with it.

As we ate and talked about what Good Friday was all about, and read from Z's The Illustrated Children's Bible, somehow he realized that we were having bread and grape juice, and so I took it as an opportunity to teach him something a little bit different from what we usually hear in church.  I was able to elaborate on what Jesus said.  We always hear that "Jesus took the bread, blessed it..." and "Jesus took the wine, and gave thanks" but do we ever actually hear what those blessings were?  Has anyone's pastor ever said the Jewish blessings over these two items that Jesus would have used?  I haven't ever heard it happen.  It's too bad, really.  There is so much richness in learning about those things that Jesus did as a first-century Jewish man.  Too often, we divorce Jesus from this historic and cultural background, and this is a mistake.  It is so illuminating to learn these things and to know who Jesus was and is as a whole person, to learn these things that shaped him, and not just to know Jesus as a vague idea of being our savior.

And so I read the words from my Bible from Matthew 26:26-28, that "Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it", and I added (after running to find my copy of my "Guide to Blessings" to make sure I got it right), by saying baruch atah adonoy eloheinu melech ha olam ha motzi lechem min ha aretz...blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth, "he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."

And I read the words "Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks [by saying "baruch atah adonoy eloheinu melech ha olam boray pri hagofen...blessed are you O lord our god, King of the Universe, creator of the fruit of the vine"] he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

And we had communion, right here in my kitchen, with chicken alfredo pizza and grape juice.  And it was one of the most memorable communion experiences I have ever had.


Tor Constantino said...

That's genius Kelly - I think heaven smiled over that communion table!

Kelly said...

Thanks, Tor. Communion usually means little to me, which is unfortunate, since it is so important to Christianity as a whole. But this one meant something :)

shawn said...

What an awesome experience for you and for your little one. Just think of the great teachable moment you gave him. He will have more understanding of what this event means then most adults.

Kelly said...

Thanks Shawn. I think in general we've taken something so simple and memorable and accessible and turned it into something very complicated and ceremonial and distant.

Eleni Poulakou said...

Well, with my own tiny background as a student in an acting workshop, I would use this knowledge of the historical and cultural background of Jesus as a tool that would help me re-enact His words and actions, re-create the moment, as closely as I could, in an attempt to reach the true attitude behind those actions (anyway, sthg like that, it's too late at night to even understand what I'm writing, lol)

Kelly said...

Eleni--actually, I did do something a few years ago to recreate it. The Bible study group I was in did a "Christian Seder" but I researched and wrote out all the material that we used for it. It was a lot of fun.