October 5, 2008

World Communion Sunday

This morning, churches across the world celebrated communion as part of World Communion Sunday. I love this symbol and idea that Christians gather not around dogma and doctrine, likeness and homogeneity, but the broken body and blood of our servant and Lord.

I had the opportunity this morning to share with my faith community, a new way of envisioning the elements and ritual of the Lord's Supper. While in India this summer, we practiced communion using a very Hindu/Indian form: the coconut. The use of the coconut by Hindu Christ followers comes from a Hindu practice of sacrifice, where a person takes a coconut to a Brahman at a temple where it is broken for that persons sins. Also, not only is bread and wine a foreign element, but pretty scarce.

So this morning, I took a coconut and broke it open during worship. The imagery brought a fresh and engaging perspective to a very important ritual within the church. The rough outer skin representing not only the human form that Christ took on in his descension from heaven, but also the sin and brokenness of the world that he took on when nailed to the cross. Then I took a hammer and with some loud cracks to the coconut, the milk poured out into a bowl, representing the shed blood.

This is such a powerful image and a great way to re-envision communion.

With that I leave you with a clip from Arandhna, contextual sitar musicians we met at the ReThinking Forum before heading to India.

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