Communion of Friends

Communion is a ceremony Christians do to reenact the night Jesus began a new covenant of love and sacrifice with his friends the disciples. At my church we do Communion by Intinction, where the congregation walks up to servers holding a cup of wine and a loaf of bread. The bread server gives you a little piece of bread and says, “The body of Christ, broken for you,” and then the wine server holds the cup for you to dip in your piece of bread, and they say, “The blood of Christ, shed for you.” The servers at our church are lay people from the congregation. As a long-time churchgoer, sometimes the Communion ritual slides into “going through the motions,” but recently I had a wonderful and touching experience when a friend of mine was one of the servers one Sunday morning.
 
God bless
 
“Communion of Friends”
 
bread and wine sometimes
water down weak to repeated
ritual when I stand in the line for
our oldest ceremony, but today
I am served by a friend who
has watched me grow, blessed
my days with grace and joy, cried
with me in loss. when she speaks
to me, puts bread in my palm,
tears rush to my eyes in new
understanding of the love
that founded this ritual. Two thousand
years ago so did Christ share love
with his friends, care in his eyes,
compassion in his gift. Today I stand
in the presence of the same Spirit,
speaking silent words to me as I receive
deep blessing.
 
 
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Communion of Friends by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Walk to the Table

Hi everyone,
 
Sorry it’s been so long. I have a new poem to share that reflects on Communion, the Holy Meal where Christians remember the night Jesus first shared the Bread and Cup with His disciples. Communion represents the grace Christ gave to all of us when He sacrificed Himself for us on the cross.
 
Eating this meal has many depths of meaning, but above all it’s a meal of faith. This poem is a reflection on how people at all ages and stages of their faith journeys come to receive Communion and the forgiveness and healing offered in it. It doesn’t matter how we get to the Table with the Bread and Cup—it might be with a walker or it might be carried by a parent—what matters is that we come ready to see all God has in store for us. This poem is what I learned from watching two different generations one Sunday morning.
 
Take some time and think about what you, too, can learn from watching different people around you and the examples of faith they show.
 
God bless!

 
 
“Walk to the Table”
 
footsteps across the old floor
of the sanctuary
engross me at this communion.
I watch the slow, practiced shuffle
of a man of many years and stories
pulling himself along on the backs
of chairs so he can walk
to this holy meal.
 
a minute later I see the opposite:
a tiny boy comes
carried in his father’s arms
to taste Christ’s grace.
his eyes are big, curious
just at the start of a journey.
 
I, too, walk in the line
to the bread and the cup.
I have been the little one led
by a parent,
and someday, I may be pulling
myself along on the backs of chairs
to get to the Table,
but I will come.
the determination I saw
in that church elder,
slow and steady,
shows me I will get there.
 
 
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Walk to the Table by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Shaking Hands

Hi everyone,
 
This is a poem I’ve shared before. It was inspired by a Maundy Thursday service at my church one year. Maundy Thursday is the night that Jesus held the first Communion, and it was also the night he was betrayed and taken away for trial and, later, death on the cross.
 
The service was a wonderful time for reflection on the night Jesus made a new covenant and a deep, everlasting promise to us—that He would sacrifice all to save us for love. This poem reflects on the communion we had at church that night, where members of the church acted out the roles of the disciples and Jesus at the Last Supper.
 
God bless!

 
 

“Shaking Hands”
 
hours before You will
    be cut off
brutally from breathing in 
   and out,
You sit at the head 
of a table surrounded by friends,
   a seed of darkness tucked 
      inside one of their hearts.
hours before the ultimate
   test, moment, fear,
You lift bread and wine.
 
i watch this moment
   reenacted in a church service
tonight. my eyes fix themselves
on the man blessing the wine
   and cup, playing Your role.
his hands shake as
  he pours the wine from pitcher
    to cup. two thousand years ago
did Your hands shake? did You
  struggle to swallow with a dry 
     mouth? take a deep breath
before You turned to Judas 
  and told him to do what he must?
before You beckoned the storm
    to come? 
 
as this last meal is served 
   for us this night, i watch not
the faces, but the hands 
    of the men and women acting
       as the twelve, the hands
    of the children and elders
college- and middle-aged 
     people
coming to reach out for that
    taste of mercy.
 
i see dry hands, wrinkled hands, 
   big, small, young, old 
hands curled with arthritis, 
    black, white, brown, red, yellow
willing hands, reluctant hands, curious hands,
    and above all linked and growing hands—
whether those hands be growing
   older and wiser or tougher and rougher,
  more gentler or more soft,
these are hands that change, 
   hands that reach, teach, create
       and hold on.
 
if Your hands shook, then all the more
   do ours, and i know all the more
You still them, grasp them,
   place the bread of grace
      and courage and hope
into our many palms,
    saying: 
         take and eat,
      take and drink,
          live and be
            children of this table,
                   of my heart.  

 
 
 
Creative Commons License
Shaking Hands by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.