Let’s build a Communion Table together, shall we. The first one was about six friends long on a side, and at least one Jesus wide at the end. Today, our table needs to accommodate all my friends — Virginia, Peter, Eddie, Rob, Rachel, Quinn, Katie, Donna, Zach, Bo, Charlie, Sean, Charlie, Ehow, Joe, Joe, Joseph, Craig, Andrew, Sara… okay, so let’s just do a rounding estimate here that I probably need to make the table at least a three or four hundred friends on a side. I’ll have to call Home Depot and make a special order for that much wood.
Rob is a friend I met at couple’s bible study 25 years ago. He and I immediately hit it off as we have the kind of conversations that good Christian boys with hints of dark humor can have. We make the jokes about gluten-free transubstantiation that only he and I think are funny. I love Rob like a brother. He will probably want to bring his friends too. I know one of his mentors is Charlie Spears, who was the Campus Minister at Tulsa U Wesleyan Foundation for 40 years. If Charlie comes and brings his friends, we are probably up in the five digit range. Let’s see, 20000 divided by four edges is about 5000 people on a side. Maybe I should be thinking about alternate materials.
Charlie Spears, got into Campus Ministry following the guidance of Bill Bright who founded Campus Crusades. Bill Bright was friends with Billy Graham. These friends stretch backwards over the centuries all the way to that first Upper Room table and forward into the future rippling out to all the friends of friends of friends with which we have communed spiritually, personally, and in the case of Rob and me, comically. I hope that great-grandchildren of my fifth grade Sunday school kids will be there.
This is what it means to be at Communion. The elements are the draw, but the real power of a community of faith is in the number of elbows on the table. Paraphrasing Tish Harrison Warren, I know I will be with friends at that big table and I hope I am near the butter.