The story is told of a little girl whose parents had taken her forward to receive Holy Communion. Disappointed with the small piece of bread she was given to dip in the cup, the child cried loudly, “I want more! I want more!” While embarrassing to her parents and amusing to the pastor and congregation, this little girl’s cry accurately expresses the feelings of many contemporary churches and congregations. We want more! We want more than we are receiving from the sacrament of Holy Communion as it is practiced in our churches.
The community of Logan came together Sunday, October 4, to cry out, “I Want More, I Want More” out of their communion experience at Logan High School where they celebrated World Communion. Churches and Pastors from Mill Creek, Logan, West Logan and other areas came to celebrate the Holy Mystery of Communion.
There are several different names for communion but they all incorporate and remind us of God’s gifts of forgiveness, nourishment, healing, transformation, ministry and mission, and eternal life.
The Lord’s Supper reminds us that Jesus Christ is the host and that we participate at Christ’s invitation. This title suggests the eating of a meal, sometimes called the Holy Meal, and makes us think of the meals that Jesus ate with various people both before his death and after his resurrection. The term the Last Supper is not appropriately used for the sacrament, but it does encourage us to remember the supper that Jesus ate with his disciples on the night when he was arrested. This emphasis is especially meaningful around Maundy Thursday. The early church appears to have referred to their celebrations as breaking bread (Acts 2:42).
The term Holy Communion invites us to focus on the self-giving of the Holy God, which makes the sacrament an occasion of grace, and on the holiness of our communion with God and one another. Eucharist, from the Greek word for thanksgiving, reminds us that the sacrament is thanksgiving to God for the gifts of creation and salvation. The term Mass, used by the Roman Catholic Church, derives from the Latin word missio, literally “sending forth,” and indicates that this celebration brings the worship service to a close by sending forth the congregation with God’s blessing to live as God’s people in the world. The Divine Liturgy is a name used mostly by churches in the tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy. All of these names refer to the same practice: the eating and drinking of consecrated bread and wine in the worshiping community.
“We Want More,” and on last Sunday, Logan churches and congregations got more. Thanks be to God!
Rev. Thomas Beckette is pastor of Nighbert United Methodist Church and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association.