I Didn’t Take Communion Because We Read the Bible Wrong: On Discerning the Body

Alternate title: I Refrained from Communion, Because There Was None

The Eucharist is ‘it’ for me. It’s at the center of my theology, my ecclesiology, my politics. Nothing cured me of my apathy for the elements of the Lord’s Supper like watching it as the climax of an ancient drama known as the Divine Liturgy (of St. John Chrysostom), a weekly constant, for which I was the only bystander in a room of audience-participants. The Eastern Orthodox Church practices a closed-table Communion but to their baptised faithful, and the table never looked so lavish as when I grew hungry from its distance, never so meaning-laden as when I had only time and space and stillness in which to meditate on it to the looping chorus of the ‘Cherubic Hymn’ and to the visual of a privileged procession to it and from which I was barred. For this reason, I’ve compiled and continued intentionally to form memories of incredible intimacy and grace around bread and wine steeped in prayer, praise, woundedness. All the more for this reason, within my larger campaign against ‘bad theology’ for the sake of Church and world, I take especial exception to bad Eucharistic theology, and this week (even in the Olympiadic occurrence of a Protestant Communion) I examined my conscience and concluded that I couldn’t receive the elements. Continue reading