I took communion this morning.
Nothing unusual about that. I’ve been part of my church since 1986, so even if I estimate once a month I’ve probably taken communion about 300 times.
But it’s been a long time since I’ve given it any thought. For quite a while I’ve vaguely wondered, should I still be doing this? And when I say ‘quite a while’, I mean it: I see that it’s nearly four years since I wrote about the “words of invitation” that our minister uses at communion. The ones that include “come not because you must, but because you may”. I concluded back then that I should indeed be “doing this”, (as you can see here) and I don’t see that anything’s changed since then.
However, the last couple of times I’ve told myself I really should think a bit about why I’m doing this. So this morning for a change I sat looking at the communion glass in my hand and asking a few questions. (Tempted though I was to take a photo of said communion glass in said hand to illustrate the point, I resisted. Here’s a stock photo of a communion glass instead.)
A few of the questions that went through my head were these:
- So, what’s this all about then?
- Why do we do this?
- Why am I doing this?
- Should I feel anything when I do this?
- What does this represent?
- Is this thanksgiving?
- Is this forgiveness?
- Is it remembrance?
And you know what I concluded?
I haven’t the faintest clue.
Now, I’m sure there was I time I would have been able to come up with some answers to those questions. And on one level, of course I still can; I haven’t forgotten all that I once knew about my faith, and I’m sure I could trot out some stock answers. They just don’t mean anything to me.
So there you have it: a long-awaited post about faith and stuff, which is where this blog started. It’s been a while.
While we’re on the subject, the speaker this morning quoted Richard Dawkins as saying “Questions are the enemy of religion”. Er, surely some mistake, Mr Dawkins? Questions are religion, I’d have said.