Every week at Hagar's Community Church we celebrate Communion Together. It is the foundation component of our time together. The Women of Hagar's Community Church have taught me what Jesus meant when he said "I am the Bread of life."
Every week we begin our communion liturgy with this liturgy (adapted from Bethany Presbyterian's liturgy)
One Voice: On This Holy day let us remember that we are not who the world says we are- Our Identity is deeper than that
All Voices: I am a child of God… Holy and Beloved… At this Holy Table, we are reminded of who we really are
One Voice: Friends, who are you?
All Voices: I am a child of God, Holy and Beloved
At our first official worship service me and two other women gathered for worship and when it was time to share communion I realized that I had brought way more bread than was necessary for three women. So off the cuff I told the two women "feel free to take as much as you like, since you can never have too much of Jesus!" Both of their eyes grew large and I watched as they both pulled off huge hunks of bread. Then they carefully dipped their bread in the grape juice and then we sat together in silence for about two full minutes eating our communion bread. Eventually one of them broke the silence and said "wow, we never get bread like that!" We all laughed a bit and then said our final communion prayer together.
In reflection I realized that I had never before had communion with a community that needed the nourishment of the bread of life as much as these women did. I thought back to all the time I have offered communion in churches not in a prison- typically when people come forward they take the smallest piece possible off the loaf. I'm not really sure why this is the typical practice among most Christians. Fear of taking too much, fear of eating too many carbs, or maybe people just aren't hungry for the bread of life. But week after week it has been my greatest joy to offer communion to the women of Hagar's Community Church and to watch them take generous hunks of bread and be fed by Jesus Christ who is truly the bread of life.
So what began as an off the cuff joke- you can never have to much of Jesus- has now become the foundation of our time together each week.
Next time you take communion I challenge you to remember that you can never have too much of Jesus!