Often I wonder why communion in the context of church is not a constant reminder of Jesus radical scandalous table fellowship, instead of a ritual that confirms what an exclusive dining club the church is.
Early on Jesus was making the " temple-folk " very uncomfortable with his eating habits. Early in Mark, The Pharisee's saw Jesus at Levi's house, Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers. The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: "What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?"
I love this quote, " My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of that same poverty.
They speak of homeland." Jesus made his home in the brokenness of humanity, it's filth and stench was like incense to him...worthy and acceptable. This was the Kingdom, it's glorious beauty coming to life in startling contrast to the exclusiveness of religion and society. It was Jesus turning the dining table of the world upside down.
Blessed are the poor, for the Kingdom of God will be theirs. I recall Bono saying, " God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them."
Sometimes I wonder if God isn't camped out closer to hell than he is to heaven.
People at the margins, the needle strewn back alleys of the inner city, the drunk passed out in urine soaked pants in shop door way, the mentally ill, the poor and illiterate might not be able to follow our poetic, finessed, exegetical precise obstacle filled maze to getting it right with God, but they know poverty, and hunger...they know how to eat. They'll eat with a Jesus who invites them
It was the in-crowd, the spiffy and spotless religious know-it-alls who were to good to clink glasses and rub elbows with the dirty, rough around the edges riff-raff. " Why do you eat food with unlean hands. If you have ever served food to folks living on the streets in the inner city, the first thing you notice is their hands reflect their lives...filthy, cracked, dry, broken and bleeding.
Why do you food with drug addicts, homosexuals, prostitutes, drunks, thieves...social rejects? God just wouldn't eat with people like that?
Jesus...the religious folks thought he was a sinner. But he was God, in human flesh and bones camped out in the filthy, poverty and brokenness of the inner city of his day.
Here's the clincher. And I know for some it will go down like a bad meal, and you'll want to puke it right back up. There is no record they had to " repent " to eat at Jesus table. The fact that they accepted his invitation, they came as prostitutes, tax collectors, adulterers, lame, blind, diseased, poor and hungry. Could it be the fact they ate and enjoyed table fellowship with Jesus was repentance enough?
I really wonder if our communion doesn't say more about " us ", than it does God?