Come to the table

Elizabeth reposts something from Doug LeBlanc which is you know, kind of good but, well…

…you have to understand. I grew up Methodist in a church where they let the music director bang nails into 100 year old woodwork so we could put up blackout curtains for our annual musical (scripted and scored by Carlton “Sam” Young, for those of you who are Methodist). We played tag in the chancel area and dressup with the vestments, and got booted from Grace Cathedral on a youth sightseeing trip because, well, there was this really big marble area and we thought it would be a good place to learn the ice skating moves one of our kids was learning.

Now I know that big marble area was between the High Altar and Main Altar and it shocks me to the bottom of my lace hankerchief. Because I’m a convert. I’m Anglican, I’m Episcopalian, I know which fork is the salad fork and enjoy every moment of high reverence of the worship service.

Doug LeBlanc writes:

Consider how many priests now announce, week after week, that because the Holy Table belongs to God and not to anyone else, all people — regardless of whether they are baptized — are welcome to partake. I note only in passing the chutzpah of presuming that God’s will for the Holy Table was thwarted, rather than honored, as far back as the Didache.

And the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

You can take the girl out of Methodisim, but you can’t take the Methodisim out of the girl. And where I come from, Methodisim means Open Communion. You come forward, honey, you sit yourself on down, and you have yourself a little food.

One of the reasons I am home in the Episcopal church is that there is the opportunity for Eucharist at every Sunday. There’s a change in me when I haven’t partaken of the Eucharist for a while, it’s a small one, but I notice it. And when it gets bad enough I notice it, I *hunger*. I want to read my Bible. I want to pray the Office. I want to praise and worship God. All because of a little cracker and some singing on a Sunday morning, something within me is changed.

Yeah, I know, I’m getting mystical instead of theological on the subject.

Is there a problem with that?

No, really, I’m wondering if we should go with the mystical over the theological on this.

I’ve written before about being excluded, from visiting other churches and the time I was physically excluded from my church, physically removed from the Holy Communion line. I wonder if Doug has ever had that experience. I really hope not.

But if, in the Eucharist, there is a miracle of a -stantiation kind, or just a miracle that we can get a group of disparate people to head in the same direction at the same time, I just do not understand why, for the love of God, we would tell someone they can’t come, too.

Come on down, honey, come to the table. We’ve got food enough, I promise.



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3 responses to “Come to the table

  1. Well, the only people who really take Doug LeBlanc seriously are Doug, of course, and some folks at Titus 1:9.

    Maybe he should be more concerned about what the Didache says about traveling charismatics. . .

  2. I have nothing to add to that, Mary Sue, except a hearty “Amen!”

  3. cjane

    I think mysticism is more reliable than theology any day.