Pr Christopher Hall, Pastor of Redeemer in Enid, OK, and one of the VPs of the Oklahoma District writes of his experience assisting in the distribution of the Eucharist at the District Convention... Having been there and seen exactly what he saw, I could not help but pass on his words... when we as Lutherans have stopped looking like and acting like Lutherans, we find the soft underbelly of our church exposed -- to the point where the usual means of distribution (the chalice) becomes a scandal...
At the Oklahoma District LCMS Convention last week I
was privileged to be an assisting minister at the opening worship
service. I read the Old Testament reading and assisted with communion
distribution. We had three “stations” and used the “drive-by” style for
the sake of time, numbers and logistics. Not my favorite way to give the
gift of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, but that’s the way it was
I held the cup containing the precious blood of Jesus. There were no
individual glasses, no “holy shot glasses.” Just the One Cup. As
communicants approached me it was quite apparent that a few of the lay
delegates there had never received out of a common cup before. Some were
visibily shaking, a few looked horrified and didn’t know how to do it.
One person in particular stood out, her face reflecting almost
Revulsion to drink the blood of Christ? On the face of a Christian? That’s the horror.
Now, I get it that a few people like the individual cups. It’s easier
to control, it’s more comfortable. “I do it myself!” we say when we’re
two and we never stop saying it. “It’s easier to just do it myself,” Dad
says, and that’s true. It’s awkward for someone to give you a drink
without you taking the cup and drinking yourself. And our
antiseptic-obsessed world despises spreading germs. I get that too. I’m
not one to just ban the jiggers or remove the individual cup or
But I do teach my confirmands to receive out of the common cup. I
remind them that Christ is feeding us and giving us drink. I remind them
of the one cup our Lord passed. I teach them that faith believes we
will receive only good from the cup of the Lord, never disease or
anything bad. I remind them that alcohol and gold or silver is a lethal
combination for germs and scientific study backs it up.
And I remind them that drinking privately out of their own cup is a
luxury they may not always have, like at conventions. So I tell them,
and now tell you, drink out of the common cup for a few Sundays, so that
you know what it is like. So that you will not have a look of horror
and revulsion on your face when you approach the common cup for the
first time at a convention. Drink out of that common cup at least a few
times and trust what God says. It will build your faith. Then I tell the
kids if they want to use the individual cups thereafter, they may. We
have freedom and no one is saying its a sin or bad or somehow not the
blood of Christ.