Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Communion Stewards

As I read the 22nd chapter of the Luke, I saw Peter and John in a different light.  I have learned they were fishermen.  I knew one was known for his temper and one for his love.  I knew they were strong leaders in the post Pentecost church, but I had never thought of them as the church's first Communion Stewards.  Communion Steward is the name we give in these parts to those who prepare the Holy Communion for the church as it gathers around the Table.  Verse 11 says, 'they prepared the Passover meal," so they unknowingly became the first Communion Stewards for such is how that first meal has been remembered by the church.
I have known a lot of different Communion Stewards in my 40+ years of ministry.  I discovered it was not a role passed around very much.  The person who did it tended to do it for a long time and sometimes even life.  Most of them were women although one was a man who took on the task after the death of his father who served the church in that role.  My guess is that he still continues.  And I must confess to having sat in the balcony before services began watching some of these servants place the prepared communion on the Table.  Often, it seemed that I was overseeing a holy moment.

Of course, like any preacher, I have prepared the communion for the body of Christ.  Most often those times were on special moments like Maundy Thursday or Christmas Eve when intinction simplified the preparation.  I can understand why someone might choose to be the Communion Steward for life.  It is such a blessed spiritual experience to prepare the supper began by our Lord.  It becomes a moment  for being overwhelmed by a holy stream that has blessed the church  and those who receive it for over 2000 years.  How blessed are we who partake and how much more blessed are those who serve by preparing for the rest of us.   

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