the Lord’s Supper with a prison spoon.

I had the Lord’s Supper twice on Christmas Eve:

  • One was at an evening church service; the other was lunch at the Hilltop Women’s Prison Unit.
  • One consisted of Broadman’s Traditional Unleavened Bread and grape juice; the other was tamales made out of Doritos, spam, and summer sausage and a Coke Zero.
  • One was served by an ordained pastor and deacons in our church; the other was served by incarcerated women behind the fences.
  • One was provided through the church budget; the other by the meager commissary accounts of 24 women.
  • One I took with just my hands; the other with a prison spoon.

With such drastic contrasts, some of you might be wondering why I would call both of them the Lord’s Supper. My reason is simple: One included our pastor reading the familiar Scripture from 1 Corinthians 11 and our church following in the partaking of the bread and the cup; the other included women living out that Scripture.

“Do this in remembrance of me.”

Jesus said those words to his disciples, but I honestly don’t think He was just talking about the Christian practice we have at church several times a year.
I believe He was setting forth an expectation for His followers for every day of our lives:

Do this … deny self; sacrifice; be willing to be broken and poured out for others

in remembrance of me … in the same way Jesus was broken and poured out for us; extravagantly, unconditionally

Jesus doesn’t want us to participate in the Lord’s Supper just a few times a year any more than He would want us to only celebrate Christmas one day a year. He’s not interested in church traditions, He’s passionate about the gospel mission He has sent us on. He doesn’t want us to just remember the meal; He wants us to become the meal… to love and to serve, to sacrifice no matter the cost.

That’s why I know the meal I shared with the women in prison on Christmas Eve was the Lord’s Supper. That’s why the green prison spoon that precious “A” gave me will remain a priceless treasure always. Because every time I open the silverware drawer in our house, I will be reminded of the power of God’s love to transform lives: theirs and mine.

“Do this in remembrance of me.”

Who are you having the Lord’s Supper with this week?

“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup,
you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes..” 
1 Corinthians 11:26

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