by Emma Baldry
What I remember most about my First Communion was not the Communion itself, but the workshop we went through in order to have the opportunity to receive Communion. I was in third grade, and I was so excited to finally be able to dip the “cracker” into the cup of “juice” like I had seen my parents do for years. When I had heard I had to go through a workshop before I could do Communion, I was a little bit disappointed. I had wanted to just be able to go in front of all of the people in the church and show them that I was now a grown up. I thought the workshop would be really boring, but I was very wrong.
When we went to church on the 6th of May in 2007, I was not going with a very positive attitude, but that changed the minute I heard the agenda. We were going to eat the food that Moses and the other Israelites had before they left Egypt, and we were going to make a plate! I was really into arts and crafts at that time, so the plate excited me most. I also heard that we were going to be going through our bibles and highlighting important bible verses telling us about the Sacrament of Holy Communion. That part didn’t seem very fun to me, but it was actually the part I remembered most.
Sure, I remembered spitting out the very weird and salty tasting green seaweed-like vegetable at the “supper” and I still have the plate I made on a shelf in my room. But every time I open that bible that I had received in second grade, and marked in third grade, it brings me back to that First Communion workshop that I had been so unwilling to go to. I look at some of the highlighted verses, and I somehow feel like I am back in third grade, and listening to Pastor Mathison explain how they connected us to God. One of the highlighted verses was in Exodus, chapter 12, verse 14. It said: This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. Through that verse, I remember that this workshop brought me closer to God. I remember that the Sacrament of Holy Communion means more than just taking the “cracker” and dipping it into the cup of “juice.” It means that God loves us and wants us to be closer to him, through the blood and body of his son who he gave to us to forgive us of all our sins. That is the true meaning of Communion, and without that workshop that I went through in third grade, I would never have learned that, and for that experience I am forever thankful.
During Lent, 2011, we are encouraging the St. Philip the Deacon community to reflect on the Sacrament of Holy Communion — recalling early memories, describing memorable celebrations of Communion, or reflecting on how Communion informs daily life. This post is part of that series. We invite your reflections about Communion, as well. If you would like to submit something for this series, please send it to Pastor Cheryl Mathison at email@example.com.