An Unholy Beginning to Holy Week

by Andy Wood on April 15, 2019

in Tense Truths

This is embarrassing.

No precedent for this.

The late George Carlin once said that the funniest things happen at the times you’re supposed to be the most serious. He was prophetic.

No class in seminary, no 32 years of church leadership ever prepared me for this dilemma.

I know it’ll bring theologians out of their ivory towers and critics far and wide. But someone (a fool probably) once said that confession is good for the soul. So here goes.

It was an unholy beginning to Holy Week.

Yesterday at the close of the worship service at our church, we celebrated the Lord Supper. It was the perfect day to do so – the start of Holy Week, a time in which we remember the price Jesus paid for the sins of the world.

For the sake of convenience and cleanliness, our church has gone to a stacked-cup method of distribution. A cup of juice stacked on top of a cup with a little square of unleavened bread in it.

That, friends, is where the problem began.

How would you get the little bread square out of your cup?

Let’s do the math. Two cups. Two hands. Though I did notice that most of the people around me held two cups in one hand and plucked the bread piece out of their cup.

Not me. Nope. I figured I’d just toss it back, cup-to-mouth. So when our pastor said “Take, eat, this is My Body, broken for you,” I tossed.

I missed.

That loud, crashing sound heard throughout the 3,000-seat building? Yep. My bread square, landing on the floor directly under the pew where I was sitting.

And herein lies the dilemma. What would you do?

Option A:  Look cool. Make a couple of chewing motions. Look reverent and wait for Phase 2.

Option B: Pick the bread square off the floor, pop it in your mouth, and pray it still counts. And that the floor fell under the guidelines of the five-second rule.

I’ve checked. There is no reference to this situation anywhere in the New Testament. I don’t think they had disposable plastic cups back then. Pews or church buildings either, for that matter.

I also checked my own theology. Was this some sort of sacrilege? Would I need to properly dispose of my little wafer, sorta like they burn U.S. flags when they retire them?

This may be why some denominations leave the job to a priest or some other official. I’ll bet they have instructions for such an occasion.  But nothing in the Baptist Faith and Message deals with the subject of dropped communion bread.

Something had to be done, and fast. My wife was giggling. “Did you miss?” she hissed.

We were getting ready to move on and something had to be done. So I opted for Plan B. I reached under the pew, found the errant cracker, plucked it off the floor, and shoved it in my mouth. All while saying a quick apology to the Lord and offering a prayer for safety.

This was a holy moment! Why did I sense even Heaven was laughing?

You’ll be pleased to know I was a lot more careful with the second cup. And grateful for the grace of Jesus that saved a wretch like me. And that offers forgiveness when I can’t seem to get it right the first time.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Martha Orlando April 15, 2019 at 11:32 am

Thanks for the chuckle here today, Andy! Yes, I’m sure there was laughter in heaven, too.
Blessings for a better Holy Week to come!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post ..The Courageous Word

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