Friday, November 11, 2005

How Much Bread Do You Take?

I’ve been thinking lately about the Lord’s Supper. Between a Reformation Day service and the recent presbytery meeting I’ve had extra opportunities to take part in the Lord’s Supper. In most cases, the practice is to pass the bread around so each person can tear a piece off for themselves.
Now I don’t mean to pry—and I’m not making judgments on anybody—but I notice that some people take a tiny piece, while others just rip off a big hunk. I’m fine with people doing either, but I sometimes wonder why people take the amount they do.

I know some people who are gluten-intolerant, so if they take a tiny piece, I know that’s at least part of it. I think some people take a small amount so there is enough for everybody, or so they don’t look greedy or gluttonous. Where I worship there is always more left over than what is taken as we have a small congregation. So if you’re concerned there may not be enough, take a look around and maybe you’ll feel free to take more. If you are afraid of looking greedy or gluttonous—I won’t think that, so take more.

I wonder if people take more do so because they think they’re getting a bigger serving of grace or of Christ. I don’t hold to transubstantiation or consubstantiation, but I don’t think the Lord’s Supper is merely symbolic. So taking a bigger piece doesn’t get you more grace.

I’m sure I missed reasons people would give for how much they take, and they may not really know why they have those reasons. But why shouldn’t we take a look at why we take as much or little as we do?

If our reasons are legalistic, presumptuous, or vague then we should re-think them. When you have done that, then take whatever size piece of bread you desire. And remember there’s a deeper meaning here.

Please feel free to comment on your views. I would love to hear them.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jeremy Weaver said...

I would love to do the bread breaking for the symbolic reasons, but I've never been in a church where they actually broke the bread. In our church we just pass around a plate with little crackers on it and everyone takes one and only one.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Rogers Meredith said...

in our church we have a big honking piece of bread and great glasses filled with red wine and we eat and drink it all;every crumb and drop!

8:34 AM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Thanks for the comments guys...

9:00 PM  

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