Most every Friday, I bake mini-loaves of challah bread.
Most of which I give, still warm, to neighbors.
The word companion is made of two root words: con (with) and pan (bread).
The people with whom you share bread are your companions.
That’s why I share it.
Because I don’t have historical baggage with Communion, I casually wonder aloud while running a service: “I wonder what it would feel like to give people Communion?”
In my mind, it’s just a thought. Like when I asked the pregnant woman next to me on the plane, “What’s it like?”
But, quickly the feedback from the Saturday group lets me know I’ve wandered into something charged.
I laugh and say, “Oh, oh, OK, not going into that topic right now.”
I should have known Communion would be a hot button topic. For God’s sake, the word is always capitalized.
But, here, in writing, we are safe to explore.
And there is a story I want to tell you.
If you were ever denied Communion, I’m so sorry.
If you ever denied something about yourself you knew to be true so that you could receive Communion, I am also sorry.
Apparently shame and Communion are linked.
I can only imagine what it might feel like, your very own descendents within you and knowing you will birth a new life into the world.
For that matter, I can only imagine the feeling I might have when I get to behold my grandchildren.
An odd, bizarro story entitled, “Rabbi gives blind woman Communion.”
I’m 35 and not working at a synagogue anymore.
Larry, with whom I’m becoming best of friends, has invited me to be the guest preacher at Church of the Valley, his congregation in Van Nuys, California.
This past weekend, Larry left town and me in charge of the liturgy at all three services.
It’s a headline: Disciples of Christ minister puts rabbi at helm.
(He will later be ousted by a conservative faction of the church for his liberal attitude.)
In our preparation for today, we decide it would feel better to have the deacons do the communion.
So, at the first service, music playing, church leaders handed out bread and wine as I sat on the pulpit.
But, at the second service, as they are doing Communion, I remember Donna, seated on the other side of the dais and who will be doing our next scripture reading, is blind and not served.
I walk to her and ask her if she would like me to give her Communion.
My grandma, the human who birthed my mom who in turn birthed me, taught me that making food for someone is an expression of love.
Bottom line: love is what sharing food, bread, and Communion is supposed to be all about.