“Hi, I’m Jim. I have ADD”
Actually, I wouldn’t want to attend an attention deficit disorder group. My mind is a pinball machine— pinging and buzzing—from one subject to another. It keeps me from getting bored. And it’s also earned me a reputation, as a college president quipped, of being “dangerously creative.”
But I have to admit, being ADD can be a challenge when taking Communion. I do not do well in those times when worshipers are admonished to “quiet your mind and think about the meaning of the elements.” Here’s a transcript of my mind:
Thank you, Jesus for your sacrifice on the cross.
Why aren’t crosses in churches “rugged”? They’re all sanded and polished..
That’s some wild nail polish on the woman sitting next to me.
My granddaughters would love that glittered nail polish.
I’ll have to remember that for Christmas sock gifts.
I can’t believe Hallmark is introducing their Christmas ornaments in July!
I am so thankful, though, that Jesus provided a sacrament that appeals to all mental inputs. The apostle John introduces his first letter by claiming, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” That appeals to children and adults with ADD!
So, the most meaningful time of Communion—when my entire mind was focused on Jesus—consisted of fresh, homemade bread that appealed to all of my senses. Here’s how:
I love the account of two disciples discussing Messianic prophecies with a stranger following Jesus’ resurrection. “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” Now bread and wine were staples at every first century meal in Palestine. But, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized [Jesus]” (Luke 24:30-32). The visual symbolism of broken bread opened their eyes!
As I tore off of a piece of bread from the loaf, the crust reminded me of the rough, calloused hands of a craftsman. I had an incredible feeling that I was actual grasping the hand of Jesus.
Taste and smell
I also find it fascinating that the sacrament also incorporates taste and smell. Smell is one of the most powerful memory inducers. The fresh bread brought back memories of coming in from the school bus in the middle of winter, walking into Mom’s kitchen and smelling homemade bread. Suddenly, I was thinking of my eternal Home with a wedding feast, which I’m sure will feature the amazing breads from the Middle East.
Finally, all these senses combine with the words of Jesus himself, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” . . . “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:19-20).
Since that sensual sacrament many years ago, I have focused on all five senses emanating from the bread and the cup during Communion. Jesus instituted a ritual which we can see, touch, taste, smell and hear. Communion hasn’t been the same for me. I trust it won’t be the same for you.
But I still wonder Why are crosses in churches are so far from the original?!
Copyright © 2014 James N. Watkins
Movie still from The Passion of the Christ
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