Sunday, August 17, 2008

"This Is My Cracker; This Is My Grape Juice"

Remembrance® Box of 210 Prefilled Communion Glasses
Double-sealed and disposable, individual Remembrance® wafer and juice sets combine modern convenience and purity with a taste for tradition. The elements are prepackaged, with both wafer and juice in a single two-part container. Communion participants peel back one seal to remove the communion wafer. A second seal under the wafer is then removed for juice. Remembrance® cups are designed to fit standard communion ware. Box contains 210 ready-to-use cups.

For many Bible-believing Evangelical Protestants, the only two church sacraments (or, more properly, "ordinances") are baptism and communion, both of which they regard as being primarily symbolic (i.e., they don't believe in baptismal regeneration or in Christ's Real Presence in the bread and the wine, whether spiritually or by transubstantiation or consubstantiation, etc.).

It strikes me as kind of odd, though, that while they often insist that baptism be done by immersion because immersion better portrays or symbolizes identification with Christ's death, burial and resurrection than sprinkling does (plus, "immerse" is the meaning of baptizô βαπτιζω, and immersion was the original and early practice), when it comes to communion, instead of observing the Biblical and historical practice of everyone partaking from one broken and distributed loaf (1 Corinthians 10:17: "Because there is one loaf, we the many are all one body, for we all partake from the one loaf."1), they are perfectly fine with everyone getting an individual tiny factory-formed cracker (or oyster cracker, as is done at a large church we used to attend) and an individual thimbleful of grape juice (i.e., it's not even wine, or wine mixed with water, like Jesus and the disciples and the early Christians used, let alone a shared cup).

What the faith???

Thus, while insisting on keeping a meaningful and proper and Biblical practice and symbolism for baptism, when it comes to communion they don't seem to think twice about discarding the Biblical practice and obscuring or obliterating the one loaf/one cup (= one body of Christ) symbolism.
1 A textual variant adds: "and the one cup."

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