If you have been following my blog you know that I have been spending time reflecting on communion and how special the meal was to me as a little girl growing up in a small Southern Baptist church that my family attended. I experienced amazing joy-filled times reflecting on the Lord’s sacrifice and believing that His Table was as much for me as it was for anyone else. For a while there wasn’t any sense of separation, condemnation, or shame surrounding the Lord’s Table. My life was at Jesus’ feet. Sadly, the wind changed directions, and I began to believe one of my first religious lies.

The majority of Southern Baptist churches celebrate communion on the first Sunday of each quarter which, as I’ve shared before, was one of my favorite days. It was a family celebration and similar to a homecoming! Because the front row was typically reserved for the pastor and any special guests, I settled on the second row in order to experience everything. Reverently and humbly, four deacons would come to serve the meal to the waiting fellowship. The only sounds were the men’s shoes on the hard-wood floors as they systematically walked through the building passing the trays and the clicking sounds of fingers against trays as they received the bread and wine. There was a sense of harmony in their serving as if the Spirit just settled and hovered over the church body for that particular time. It was like watching the divine unfold in a sunrise or in the handiwork of a baby’s tiny toes. There was this sense of knowing that there was much more going on than the physical. As closely as I could, I watched and had I been allowed, I would have stood with the pastor.

The wind changed when someone tattled.

After one of the communions when I was around twelve, someone told my mother that I was turned around backwards in the pew. Apparently, a little girl sitting backwards in her seat watching the men serve communion was not keeping with the honor and respect of the meal. From then on, I was told to remain seated forward or sit in the back of the sanctuary. Even though this happened twenty nine years previous, the memory has not faded over time. It remains a defining moment that planted a seed of doubt in my mind.

Believing there was something that I could do “wrong” during communion gave my foundation a shake. My faith had been in Jesus who, had we met in person, I believed would have  thrown me in the air, watched me giggle, and pulled me into His lap. Furthermore, if it were that easy to “mess up” communion, then what about the complexities of daily life that begin to peak around adolescence? Perhaps the first religious lie I ever believed was that I could do something, even by accident, to create distance between me and God.  Unfortunately, the enemy knows a foothold when he sees it, and I began to feel an uncertainty about my place at the Lord’s Table.

Please don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t the end of good memories! There are plenty more to come, which I’m planning on sharing in future blogs.  This is just a small piece of my story. The great news is that God loves to pursue His children!  One of my favorite verses comes from The Message in 2 Corinthians 5:20-21: “We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”  This speaks rivers of hope to me! Oh friends, if you have ever believed the lie that I did for so very long, I pray that today you will only believe what He believes about you! He has never quit being your (or my) friend no matter what we’ve done!!

Presently, I attend a church that encourages children to touch and taste the sweetness and goodness  during communion. I consider it a sweet gift from the Lord  to see the post-millennial generation comfortable enough to reach out and touch the body and blood of Christ. God loves to bring renewal, and I believe the children in my church are one way the Lord is restoring my faith in His Table. 🙂

Note: Yes, someone tattled, but that’s not the reason that my faith wavered. I believe it shook because there’s an enemy that lives to wreck our thoughts. Churches serve communion in a variety of ways. Some are reverent and others casual. That’s not the point. The point goes all the way back to the garden of Eden where the serpent was persistent in messing with man’s thoughts of God’s original plan of union between us and Him. 

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