Bread or wafers?
Cups or intinction?
At the rail or in the pew?
The process for Communion seems to vary church by church and pastor by pastor. While growing up, my church passed around small wafers and cups in the pews. As an adult, I have experienced a variety of methods.
Our Senior Pastor has a different preference from his predecessor. Joe prefers serving with small cups compared to John who seemed to prefer intinction (dipping the bread in the cup).
The difference also includes how people come forward for communion. We used to walk forward down the side aisles - now everyone goes to the side aisle then back to the rear of the church before coming down the middle aisle.
The last time we celebrated communion, I found myself growing really frustrated. Why not just go forward?! Why move to the side and then to the back and then down the middle?!
I saw a picture in my head of Billy from Family Circus with the dotted line following us back and forth and up and down the aisles.
I found myself feeling frustrated and trying to figure out how I could talk to Joe and "straighten this out".
But then it occurred to me, perhaps God feels the same way about us and our churches?
How often do we make things harder than they need to be?
How many times do we put in extra steps that only serve to make the path to God longer than it needs to be?
And the harder questions were more personal...
How am I preparing my heart for Holy Communion when I am preoccupied with how the ushers are directing people up and down the aisle?
Shouldn't I be more thankful that I have a place where I can worship freely with brothers and sisters in the faith regardless of style preferences?
Ultimately though, by God's grace we are able join together in communion with God despite the number of extra steps or obstacles we put in the way.
God's grace and power is sufficient to bring us together as the Body of Christ in communion with our Creator, our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit that sustains us and makes us one with our Lord.
Thank God for that.