Some Christians say that Christ mysteriously hovers around the bread and wine (if you’re not, say, Catholic or Lutheran or Episcopal or Eastern Orthodox) but doesn’t embody it. But if you are Catholic or the like, you probably believe that Christ actually hops into each loaf and bottle after being blessed, literally embodying the elements.

I went to a Lutheran high school and got in a fight with Mr. LeBow, my history teacher, in the middle of class one day about this. Why shouldn’t any true believer be allowed to take communion with any church body? That confused me to pieces. It’s because, according to Mr. LeBow, if I did I might be damning myself as an unconfirmed member of his church that believes Christ isn’t a symbol in the wine and bread, but the actual bloody wine and fleshy bread. When he said that my cheeks turned red hot. I was an outsider right then, at that school, when the whole reason I took Jesus in my heart is because I believe he wants everyone in his.

And I still believe that if Jesus is real, of course he can swoop over thousands of stale loaves, millions of tiny pale biscuits each Sunday and make them body. And even though I’m sure he prefers turning wine into blood he can do it to tiny plastic grape juice cups, too. It’s like every Sunday a million miles of his veins and skin covers the whole planet, turning us into something else entirely cooler and more hopeful than we realize.

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