This Sunday, I saw something quite surprising at church. In the middle of church service during communion, a bunch of the grade-school children from Sunday school bounded into the sanctuary. They cheerfully danced up to the communion table. The church elder offered them the bread. The children grabbed a piece, drenched it grape juice, and popped it in their mouths. One of them turned around and flashed the congregation a big goofy grin, as to say “this is good stuff”. And they dashed off.
My response? My own grin, out of amusement. Let me explain…
The Solemn Tradition
Churches define differing rules around communion (or Eucharist, if you’re Catholic), such as who’s allowed to participate, and who can serve it. But they seem to have one unspoken rule in common: those taking communion must be solemn or pensive or mediative or contrite. No giddiness allowed.
But why not? Is it unholy to be happy? When is piety measured in dourness?
An Honest Reaction
I believe in an honest reaction to God in worship and religious traditions. Sometimes a meditative stance is called for. In other times, I think this child had it right. Sometimes there’s no better reaction to God than a big goofy grin that says, “this is good stuff”.