On Friday I stopped at the grocery store, careful to keep a 6 foot distance from the masked shoppers who eyed me warily for symptoms. I needed milk, some fresh veggies, and dog food. And grape juice and crackers for my Sunday Covid-19 Communion for one.
On the first Sunday of the month my churches – both the one I sometimes attend here in Council, and my old one in Duvall – take communion. Plus, today marked Palm Sunday, which is the start of Holy Week, ending next week on Easter.
It’s a significant week in the lives of Christians everywhere.
Normally, we’d gather and share the sacrament of Communion, also called the Eucharist or breaking bread, as a group. Christians are called to be in community, to love and support each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. There’s lots of hugging.
During this crazy time of global pandemic both common sense and government orders for social distancing make getting together unwise if not impossible. However churches are quickly learning how to use technology so that services still take place in real time.
I’ve watched many a recorded service after the fact on YouTube. Facebook Live now allows me to interact with the church body while the pastors and the band work and empty room. I felt real connection with my old Washington congregation this morning as I sang along with enthusiasm and typed a friendly “Hi” to familiar names as they logged in.
“The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is to receive from Christ the nourishment and strength and hope and joy that come from feasting our souls on all that He purchased for us on the cross, especially His own fellowship.”~ John Piper, theologian
Because of time zone differences, I can “attend” services at both “my” churches on a single Sunday. My church attendance has doubled! A virus may keep us from gathering in the same building. But the building is not the church. And no virus will keep Christians from marking this Holy Week in communion with each other.
I had prepared myself a plate with a broken saltine cracker and a tiny glass of grape juice. And we, as a congregation, took Communion on the first Sunday of April, Palm Sunday, 2020.
We will do it again on Good Friday. And again on Easter Sunday.
Covid-19 Communion may not be the Communion we want. But breaking bread and taking the cup, alone, in the virtual presence of the larger body of Christ, will work until this virus has been conquered. We pray that God’s will is that it will be soon.
Here are some articles that I found interesting: