by John Schultz
I grew up in a Lutheran church where you received first communion after confirmation. Confirmation followed two years of classes with Pastor in his study. The day before my confirmation in early May, I helped my Dad in the yard, as we were expecting many guests for my confirmation celebration. It was a beautiful warm weekend. On that Saturday, I planted a soft maple tree in the front yard of my parents’ yard that had two leaves and was two inches tall. My mother claims she has a picture of me looking at that tree on the day of my confirmation. She is looking for the picture. That maple tree is now 37 years old and towers above my parent’s house where they still reside. My parents remind me annually that this tree was planted on my confirmation, my first communion. It is a great reminder of that special day in my life of faith.
Communion, the Eucharist, or the Holy Supper, like that maple tree, causes me to pause and reflect on the special relationship that I have with God and his Son Jesus Christ. First and foremost, the Eucharist reminds me that God sacrificed Jesus’ body for my salvation. Holy communion in its distribution of the body and blood give me the comfort that I belong to a larger body of people who belong to God. I have this reminder every time I come to the communion table with other members of St. Philip the Deacon. As the elements of the body and blood are made real for me through bread and wine, this meal, for all the reasons I listed above, provide me with a meal for my spirit to be nourished in the reality that I belong to God and am saved by Jesus Christ.
During Lent 2011, we are encouraging the St. Philip the Deacon community to reflect on the Sacrament of Holy Communion — recalling early memories, describing memorable celebrations of Communion, or reflecting on how Communion informs daily life. This post is part of that series. We invite your reflections about Communion, as well. If you would like to submit something for this series, please send it to Pastor Cheryl Mathison at firstname.lastname@example.org.