Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What Would Jesus Eat

If this blog only serves to make you feel better about yourself, well, that's something.

Last Sunday in church, as I took my little square of what looked like maybe semi-whole-wheat sourdough bread which served as our communion loaf, I seriously considered pinching off a teeny-tiny piece to eat and pocketing the rest, as my New Year diet bans all bread for the first two weeks, no matter how whole wheat, fairly traded or organic.

This small bit of bread was not meant to be used as part of any diet, trademarked or otherwise. This bread is a symbol of a symbol (although in this particular church, it is not meant to have any magical powers - just a way of remembering why Jesus, you know, died and stuff), one that is reiterated every time it is offered, so that you won't forget between the time that the ritual starts and the time, mere moments later, that you look at it as South Beach Poison. Yet, I managed to lose the point within those moments.


These days, Communion seems a little silly to me. I've begun to look at it as a typical human religious overreaction to Jesus' idea of a forget-me-not. To me the Last Supper story reads like this: one night when things were looking most bleak for our hero, Jesus had dinner with his friends and asked them that maybe, after he was gone, that when they had dinner they might look at the bread and wine on the table and remember him. That's all. No impressive-looking men in fancy robes lifting ornate goblets up to heaven. No special ritualistic words intoned in a godly voice. Just a thought: Have some bread. Remember Jesus. Drink some wine. Remember Jesus.

Does this mean that I live by my new heretical religious thoughts? No. I don't even say grace. I don't even know if I really believe what I'm left with to believe at this point in the life-long deconstruction and reconstruction that is my religious education.

So maybe it's best that I go ahead and try to think holy thoughts during this duded-up ritual that is Christian Communion. And that I try to take it seriously. If nothing else, it's a chance for silence. Quiet the flow from the brain. Shut off the pipe from the snark lobe. Well, maybe turn it down to a trickle.

See you in church.


D.B. Echo said...

See, us Catholics believe it's flesh. Human flesh. So it's OK for low-carb diets. Somehow sneaks in on abstinence days, too.

V for Vendetta (the book) had an interesting take on the whole transubstantiation thing. Apparently, an evil cleric's faith wasn't sufficient to make a cyanide-soaked wafer turn into flesh.

I prefer to think of the sharing of bread and wine as the actions that Jesus meant when he said "Do this in remembrance of me."

One of these days I have to pick up a copy of "Misquoting Jesus" to see a breakdown of when various stories, lines, and bits of text slipped into the Gospels.

piglet said...

I recommend it.