As it is after 2am, I should be in bed. However, I’ve been thinking about this week, about the things I and the youth are taking home with us and those we’re leaving behind, about the work and people we’ve met, about what it means to be a pastor to a bunch of high school teenagers, about what an impact the youth made this week. And though this is technically my Friday 5 post, I’m instead going to reflect on earlier tonight.
Tonight the youth went out to dinner and ice cream. The group came back to do our wacky t-shirt contest and have some laughs before settling in for devotions, which included Communion.
As we sat around the table, I asked about Communion, about what it meant. Someone noticed the Oreos sitting next to me, which sparked comments about this meal being symbolic and meaningful, whether it’s with bread and cup or with Oreos and milk. The point of the Last Supper is to remember what Jesus did for us, for the love, forgiveness and grace he provided. It doesn’t matter if that remembrance happens with wafers, bread, grape juice or wine. The point is to remember.
With a group that has spent a week bonding, I loved coming together and remembering that final meal Jesus had with his friends. I enjoyed reminding the youth that Jesus was in that room, laughing and having a good time with his Disciples, like they have done all week. It connects Scripture and faith to our common lives, I think. But then came the Oreos and milk. Then came the actual Communion part.
After I said a youth interpreted Words of Institution (“On the night he was betrayed, etc…), I opened the Oreos. Each youth took the cookies and milk, held it for the person sitting next to them and ate. It was silent except for the crinkling of the cookie package and some shifting in seats. More was said in that action of sharing in Communion than any words or prayers. Each held the package for the next, with no words being spoken. There was something incredibly holy in those moments.
No words may describe how much the group bonded this week. Ending tonight with Communion and prayer showed how much God’s light is in each of them. My prayer is that they are able to remember that and take that with them in all that they do.