Communion of Scraps

I’ve never been a person who genuinely cared about observing Good Friday. It’s a mystery to me why I haven’t taken it seriously, it’s an important holiday for Christianity. This year was different; maybe it’s a sign that I’m maturing. I wanted to celebrate Holy Day. Of course, all my plans fell through.

This year, I wanted to go to a church service, but was unable to make it. Instead, I planned to have my own observance and partake communion with myself that night. I’ve always thought, and still do, that communion is powerful when it’s done with a group of believers remembering their King. After all, the word “communion” is based off of being communal, so my solo plan seemed off. But, I was determined to not let this ruin my Good Friday observance. As the story goes, other events ruined the day. Good Friday was over.

I wasn’t very happy about missing Good Friday service. When Saturday night rolled around, I called an audible, I was going to celebrate Good Friday and do some communion. I only had beef flavored crackers and raspberry soda in my food collection, red liquid for blood and some crackers that nobody would mistake for bread. Perfect! I went outside at 1:30am, now Sunday morning, it was cloudy and with light rain. I crawled onto a trampoline with my “communion.”

As I lay on the trampoline, I opened my now soggy cracker box and grabbed my first cracker. I thought about Jesus washing the feet of people who have and would continue to fail him, deny him, and even betray him. I ate the cracker after remembering what Christ did. With every remembrance I would eat my beef flavored cracker. I thought about how an omnipotent God chooses to use His power, and how we’re suppose to react to our enemies. I thought about the model for how we treat outcasts and everyone who will eventually fail us. Each cracker was tough to eat, and I don’t think it was because of the nasty the flavor, but because of the sacrifice it represented.

I opened up the Raspberry soda. The blood of Christ – I took a sip, remembering his sacrifice for me. I still had a lot of soda to go. It hit me that Christ didn’t just die for me, but everybody else as well. I know it’s an elementary revelation, but it was significant for me.

After every sip I had to let things go and say “because of Jesus, you are worthwhile.” All those people I judge in my subconscious when I see them walking in the mall (sip). That group of people that are branded as enemies of my country, so I’m supposed to hate them too (sip). That kid who annoys me by showing me 100 “funny” pictures on his phone each day (sip). That guy who I have a personal grudge against (sip)…etc. I ran out of soda. I imagine that I would have needed a couple gallons of raspberry soda to drink for everybody or every group that I fail to show or recognize the love that Christ has for them. Every drop that fell from the cross that day was saying “I love that person this much…and this much…and this much…”

After all of this, I was reminded of an excerpt from an article I once read by Frederick Buechner. I think it has an important everyday exercise that I need to start living out:

The next time you walk down the street, take a good look at every face you pass and in your mind say Christ died for thee. That girl. That slob. That phony. That crook. That saint. That damned fool. Christ died for thee.

Buechner offered this final suggestion about participating in communion:

Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee.

–Brian McCarthy

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