Sometimes I miss being a Christian. I don’t miss Christianity, but I miss being a part of this whole thing. This whole thing that goes on at this school, where I am way out of the loop.
Tonight I went to All-School Communion for the first time in a long time. We have this once a month (it’s not mandatory), where communion is served in the chapel, and there’s worship music and a speaker. It usually lasts about an hour and a half. I stayed for the whole thing, dodging in between spectator and participant. It was strange. I went initially because I missed worship music, but was a bit dismayed to find that after skivving off chapel so much, many of the songs were new.
At times I got really into the music and the atmosphere of the place, and I actually felt like I was one of them. I felt like I actually was a Christian and like I believed what I was singing. That felt good, to tell the truth. For a few moments, I detached myself and thought: it is not that unlikely that I could become a Christian again tonight. I really felt like a Christian; I could just go through the motions and become a part of this community again and will myself into believing that I actually love God. Nobody would be able to tell that I don’t actually believe in God. I might not even be able to tell the difference… But that would make me delusional. So I snapped out of it.
At other times, especially during the breaking of bread and all the prayers and proclamations that go with that, it felt very foreign and ghastly. Like some bloody ritual of sacrifice on a Mayan temple. The ritual of eating the bread and drinking the grape juice itself didn’t seem odd to me, but the words around it and chaplain digging his fingers into the bread to break the loaf, and the flickering candles and wooden cross, seemed so cult-like and barbaric.
Not long ago, I was one of the students serving communion, holding the bread and grape juice and solemn with the privilege of serving my classmates and serving God. At the time I truly saw that as a privilege. I loved it. It’s a good memory. (more…)