What were you hoping to achieve with your new book, Time for Supper: Invitations to Christ’s Table?
For some churches, the Lord’s Supper is an add-on that shows up on fifth Sundays—a tradition that must be in the New Testament somewhere. We can limit communion to remembering something that happened once long ago, “We’re going to do this because Jesus told us to, but don’t make a big deal out of it. We’re not Catholics.” The supper is remembrance, but communion is also thanksgiving, fellowship, sacrifice, mystery, and celebration. I hope that those who read Time for Supper will experience God at the table in all of these ways.
How did you come to write a book centered on the Lord’s Supper?
I hope it is because my life is increasingly centered on the Lord’s Supper. I am easily distracted. I need the table, because I need to be called back to God’s grace, love and call. God offers a new start in the Eucharist.
As you wrote Time for Supper, was there a specific memory of Communion or the Lord’s Supper that kept coming back to you? If so, what was it?
When I was five years old, we visited my grandmother’s church when they were having the Lord’s Supper. My parents would not allow me to eat the cracker or drink the thimble of juice for several years, but on this occasion I was sitting with my aunt whose theology is suspect. I had been eyeing the grape juice for some time. I could not let myself believe that this was finally going to happen, but it did. Aunt Hilma Joyce handed me a shot glass of Welch’s. The nectar of the gods tasted even better than I had imagined. I was five years old, but I longed for something to happen in worship, to taste something, do something, and feel something. I keep coming back to the way in which our worship is consumed with listening. Most of us don’t taste, do, and feel nearly enough.