Monday, January 13, 2014

Flesh And Blood

Yesterday morning, I was in charge of the communion service in both our English and Chinese speaking services. In our Chinese assembly, we often have visitors to whom the Lord's Supper may be baffling and I always try to make it more understandable. This is from May 2, 2010.
In my Sophomore Gospels classes recently, we read the passage from John 6 in which Jesus lost many followers when He referred to the time that they would eat His flesh and drink His blood. The statement offended a number of His disciples and His own men told Jesus that this teaching was a difficult one. I tell the kids that my interpretation is that Jesus was referring to the institution of the Lord's Supper, or communion, which He would share with them during His final Passover. On the surface, Jesus' proclamation to the crowds would have been shocking; eating flesh and drinking blood is repulsive in almost every society, even to ours.

Last week in class, I was trying to make a point about what culture teaches the citizens of each society. I told the kids I was going to sing a song and wanted them to join in. Without any other preparation, I broke into my rendition of the theme song from The Addams Family. You know,
''Da da da da SNAP SNAP. Da da da da SNAP SNAP. Da da da da, da da da da, da da da da SNAP SNAP."
All the American youngsters joined in, laughing, and all the kids from other countries looked at us like we were crazy. To cement the idea, I started singing the theme song from C.O.P.S.:

''Bad boys, bad boys. What cha gonna do, what cha gonna do when they come for you?"
Identical response; all the teenagers from the United States began laughing and singing with me while all our guests from around the world looked on in bewilderment. I know they didn't understand but I'm also pretty sure they won't soon forget the illustration.

We learn by absorbing things in our various cultures to which we are constantly exposed. American Christians are so used to the taking of communion with its symbolism reflecting on Jesus that we may overlook its startling nature to those who have not been raised on a steady dose of Christianity. Even before I became a baptized believer, I knew what the Lord's Supper was; my dad was a preacher and we sometimes as kids played communion with crackers and toothpaste lids. But the shock value certainly was not lost on those who first heard the Master put this coming memorial into words shortly after He fed the five thousand. I would guess some of us still, like I did as a boy, play communion by neglecting its sacredness as we remember the Savior. Some of those who saw Jesus break the bread with His hands also saw His flesh torn by nails less than twenty-four hours later. I bet it never became routine for them.


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

6 comments:

Lynda Young said...

a great post full of God's teaching. Thanks :)

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

A great post as always.

Yvonne.

Daughter of the KING said...

crackers and toothpaste lids - gotta love it!

Great post!

Linda said...

Hi just found your blog through another blog. Love your post and will look forward to following you here.
Have a great day!
Blessings

CL Beck, author said...

Played communion with crackers and toothpaste lids, huh? That's really cute, and quite innovative! :)

Thanks for following my humor blog ... I've clicked to follow yours, too!

Sheila Deeth said...

Great post, and very true comments about culture. Having moved to the US from the UK I find I frequently trip up over things that everyone else assumes are obvious. Hopefully the change might also make me more open to recognizing that what I assume might not always be true, and to looking below the surface of what I do.