Communion Breath

I heard my colleague    Samuel Son preach a great sermon in February about breakfast with Jesus.  He wondered if everybody had morning breath.

Dinner out tends to be a more dressed-up affair.  A dinner date tends to be even more formal.  There might be candlelight.  At the very least, people are wearing shoes.

Breakfast, on the other hand, is more intimate.  Our hair is uncombed and our eyes are sleepy and might be crusty with whatever. Usually, our companions at breakfast are more familiar to us.  We’ve been together through the night – whether in a bed or in a boat – like the first disciples who saw the LORD on the shore, cooking breakfast after their big haul of fish.

Today we remember the first last supper with Jesus and his followers.  There was bread.  There was wine.  There were probably other things to eat as well that one might find at a Passover meal. Several things happened that night after dinner and I wonder:

Did Jesus and his followers have communion breath?

Did they still have the taste of Jesus “body” and “blood” – in his words – on their lips?  Did they have any idea about the depth of what they had experienced at that last supper together?  Did Jesus still have the taste of wine and bread in his mouth when he was arrested?

Just as breakfast finds us with morning breath, I wonder if we consider that communion breath is a shared experience when we celebrate this holy meal together.  It’s the taste of bread and cup.  But it’s also the taste of community and presence because the ruah of God – the breath of God – has been poured out upon our meal.

I think this is kind of cool.

Tonight many of us will leave spiritual gatherings with communion breath.  I hope we can taste that holy meal for a while so that we remember for longer than a couple moments.

Image is a detail of Semen Zhivago’s “Last Supper Mosaic” (1879-87) in St. Isaac’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg. 

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