I often serve as a Eucharistic minister on Sundays…wine or bread. Our service is casual and kind of chaotic. Plenty of small children run around during the service and are welcome to take communion with the rest of us. And over the years, I have seen something that bothered me at first, and then inspired me. Crumbs.
Growing up, I was taught that crumbs of communion bread were precious and not to be stepped on. Spilt wine was quickly wiped up and any leftovers went down a special drain in the sacristy. When I began serving communion in the Chaos Service, these rules were not so closely observed. Crumbs and drips end up on the floor and the rug, played with and walked on. I obsessed about them. Could I swoop down to get them before the next person in line came with their hands held out? The body of Christ was being trampled upon by…the body of Christ.
One Sunday it occurred to me there was something poetic happening with these crumbs and drips. They were being carried out into the world on the soles of our congregation. And this congregation was particularly good about walking those crumbs into all sorts of justice-making places. They host refugees and feed the homeless. They are making our city cleaner and greener. They educate children and protect the abused.
Those little bits of bread and wine are looking different to me now. Crumb by crumb, they are feeding our hearts, helping us see and serve Christ all around us everyday. I’m not gonna drop them on purpose, but I’ll follow them out the door to see what good we can do together.