Given and Shed for You

by Gloria Kjellberg

An experience of Holy Communion that I remember most vividly took place in the company of 12,000 young people and their chaperones at the national Luther League Convention in Detroit, Michigan in 1964. Several things stand out: the large number of young people singing, praying, confessing their faith; the setting which, because it was in Detroit, made use of everyday items as worship aids. Candle holders on the altar were made of automobile pistons. Mobiles hanging from the ceiling were made from auto parts. I was impressed by the attempt of the worship leaders to connect the experience of communion to our everyday lives. The fact that the experience took place in a secular public arena also helped to tie the bread and wine to my daily walk. Christ’s presence in that moment became very real to my understanding of the words, “Given and shed for you.”

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

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