Yesterday was the first Sunday of the month. As is the custom for many churches on the first Sunday of the month, our church partakes in a communion service following the sermon.
An interesting, yet familiar, thing happened yesterday while we were in the middle of taking communion. About 10 minutes prior to it, I had popped a piece of gum in my mouth, forgetting that we were about to participate in this custom of remembrance.
Have you ever done that?
So they’re passing the bread, and I”m enjoying this delicious piece of gum that hasn’t lost its flavor yet, thinking to myself, “what am I going to do with my gum?”
Now, a reverent and responsible person would have probably just spit it out, but that thought never entered my mind, seeing as I’m probably more lazy than responsible.
The time comes when it’s time to partake of the bread, which signifies the broken body of my savior and Lord, a thought that is still fresh in my mind from having just celebrated Easter… but here I am, concentrating on this stupid peice of gum.
I put the bread in my mouth. On the left side is my gum, and carefully, I chew the bread on my right side, so as not to allow the two to fraternize with one another.
As I was chewing, remembering my Christ’s sacrifice, it dawned on me that much of my life is like the parable of the gum and the bread.
Much of my life is kept completely and carefully seperated from those things that are spiritual, knowing that to mix the two would result in something ugly and repulsive. Rather than discard the things that don’t mix, I tediously try to keep them separate in my life or make them fit so that I can keep them.
I “chewed on that” for a while until the juice came around. Again, my thought was, “how bad will this juice make my gum taste?”
I lodged the gum between my tongue and a tooth and took the juice. Ironic.ally, as I drank the juice, I accidentally swallowed my gum.
Another thought came to me: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” – Matthew 6:24
In times past, I’ve had candy or gum in my mouth when it was time for communion. Those other times I was able to skillfully endure the ceremony and keep my delicious treat all the way through to the end, triumphant in my feat and rewarded in the end with a temporary goodie.
This time the experience was a bit different. This time I had a look into myself and saw myself on both sides of the mirror staring at each other… Hopefully I won’t go away and immediately forget what I look like.