An Open Table: Part of the Synchroblog for Sanity

Through out the past 3-4 years the Church (and the Christian faith in general) has been a place of struggle and frustration. I’ve witnessed both the astounding beauty and the shocking ugliness that can grow out of Church communities.

At my Christian university I grew tired of the hate directed towards women, art, science, Democrats, the LGBT community, and many others all coming from Christians. The more exhausted I became I found myself  becoming more and more hateful towards other Christians. A problem in and of itself.

Therefore it is ironic that some of the most restorative, persuasive, and transcendent experiences I’ve had dealing with God, love, and those who are LGBT would take place in the Church…

During one of the most traditional Christian practices….

Communion.

***

“The Eucharist is a table of hospitality, a table of fellowship and welcome, a means of amazing grace…in Jesus, which invites us into all reconciliation with God and one another…The Eucharist celebrates the end of our old oppositional identity and the beginning of our new identity as God’s agents of reconciliation and love.”

-Brian McLaren

I didn’t like him.

Conservative judgmental homophobic

I knew he was a brother in Christ, but I didn’t love him.

He had treated LGBT members of his family terribly

He had constantly judged me because I didn’t fit his definition of “manly”

Yet as I was giving communion he came up

“The body of Christ is broken for you”

He took the bread and then came over to me

He dipped the bread in the cup I held

He put his hand on my shoulder

He looked me in the eyes

I looked back and paused for a moment

Then I said

“The blood of Christ is shed for you”

He said thank you and ate the bread.

In that simple transaction

In that short moment

All the

anger

judgments

mistakes

Fell away

I let go of my hatred when we stood together,

Both human

Both broken

Both striving to live a Christ-like life of love

 

A couple weekends later

I took communion once again

This time at a different church

As I went up to participate I was nervous and hesitant

Why?

Simply because the women serving communion was gay

No, not ex-gay, not celibate, she had a loving partner

The women gave me the bread

“The body of Christ”

I received it

“The blood of Christ”

I drank it

We looked each other in the eyes for a moment

I was straight

She was gay

It did not matter

All the

pre-conceived notions

judgments

worry

Fell away

I let go of my prejudice when we stood together

Both human

Both broken

Both striving to live a Christ-like life of love

This is the beauty of communion. It connects us with the human heart in each other.

It strips away all other details

Straight or gay

Liberal or conservative

Young and old

Male and female

They don’t matter

We are all brothers and sisters

All beloved Children of God

Covered by God’s eternal grace

And in these moments I felt that.

and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. –Colossians 1:20

***

This is my participation in Justin Lee’s much needed Synchroblog for Sanity. Check out the rest of the entries here.

Today is also the day Lee’s book Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from Gays vs Christians Debate is officially released. It is a fantastic, healing, and important book. One that I couldn’t recommend more to Christians, straight or LGBT, whatever side of the issue you fall on.

-Andy Motz

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5 comments

  1. Nice post as I’ve been self-reflecting on communion myself as of late.

  2. Thank you for this post!
    It is beautiful when God reminds us that the ground is equal at the foot of the Cross.
    This powerful post is a powerful addition to the dialogue.

    God Bless- John

  3. What a wonderful reminder – we are all broken and need Jesus. Thanks for this post!

  4. Thank you for this post, it was absolutely beautiful. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to get believers who disagree on this issue (and other issues!) to come together and take communion? To acknowledge the source of our shared faith.

    Very thought provoking.

  5. I read this the other day and saw your film tonite. Both are beautiful and profoundly moving. May you continue to seek out soul-nurturing places and use your artistic reflective gifts to stir your readers/viewers to want the same.

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