My kids absolutely love taking communion on Sunday morning. And last Sunday when Asher invited the congregation to come forward for communion and it took nearly all of my physical strength and patience to get them to wait until it was their turn to file out of our row and walk forward to receive communion. By the time it was finally our turn to leave our pew and get in line, my kids were so ready to take communion that they immediately darted out of my reach and ran forward (cutting off those ahead of us!) to get their piece of the communion bread. I was left standing several people back in line mortified by their behavior.
But then I wondered why I didn't feel the same urgency, excitement and sense of expectation. We take communion each week for several reasons, but at the core it is to remember the life and death of Jesus and to tangibly experience that he can--and does--satisfy our deepest hungers (to be known, to be loved, to be forgiven, to be included, to live a meaningful life) and quench our greatest thirsts (for justice, for reconciliation, for peace). And when I snap out of the routine of walking forward to eat a piece of bread dipped in grape juice, I wonder why I'm not also running forward and nearly knocking people over to experience God in those ways.
To be sure, I will continue to talk to my children about waiting in line and not cutting others off on the way to communion, but my hope and prayer--for them, for me and for us--is that they never loose that sense of urgency and expectation as they come forward to experience God, eating and drinking in remembrance of Him.