The Road to Uganda 7: A Communion Feast

I was supposed to be traveling to Uganda this week. Even to me, that fact is barely comprehensible. To be honest, even though I’m still planning to go on the trip, which has been tentatively rescheduled for next year, the entire idea of the trip feels like a different world. All of the details—my planning binders, lining things up for the visa applications, making sure everyone was getting a yellow fever vaccine—it’s all a distant memory. I remember in February or so being excited for Uganda because, feet on the ground, all of the stress over random planning details would just fall away. Being in Uganda was going to reprioritize a lot of things for me. Well, I got that reprioritization. We all got that reprioritization. It just came a lot earlier than I expected.

I wrote today’s poem in October 2000, not quite four months after returning from my first missions trip. I don’t remember where I was when I wrote it—I assume some church service that did Communion a different way than I was used to. But to be honest, Communion is one of the things I deeply appreciated on my missions trips precisely because each church handled Communion differently. Breaking bread in a different context than my own is always a privilege, especially in a different language. I was looking forward to it in Uganda; I guess I’ll have to wait another 12 months or so to experience it.

But what I will be experiencing, even as this is published, is the gathering of fellow believers. My church is meeting together for the first time since March 8. It will be outdoors. There will be social distancing. It will look very different from our normal gatherings. But the Lord will be there, and it will be good.

One closing note on the poem itself: it is not very good. I should probably either rewrite it or revisit the theme at some point. But it shows a snapshot into my writing and my thought process at the time, so here we are.

A Communion Feast

Originally written October 28, 2000

I’ve partaken of the bread
I’ve partaken of the cup
In many different places
In many different ways
I’ve had crackers
I’ve had bread
I’ve had grape juice
I’ve had wine
Drunk out of Dixie Cups,
Drunk out of mini shotglasses,
Taken of community cups,
In Guatemala, small beer steins.
They’ve passed around,
We’ve come to take.
But it’s amazing just to see
No matter how it’s done
The Lord is always there.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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