I have been hearing a commercial on the radio during my drive times. It is for a dating service where a person can get matched with a potential partner for a lunch date. The name of the service is, "It's Just Lunch." Since I have been married almost 36 years, I really don't know much about the dating scene, but I find that title rather strange. Can meeting someone for a potential date really be "just lunch"? Is eating together ever that inconsequential?

When we celebrate Holy Communion, I hope we all realize that it is more than just lunch. Gathering at the Lord's Table is an act of intimacy, it is a time for remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, but it is also a time of encountering the living presence of Jesus. As such, our celebrations of Holy Communion, or Eucharist, or the Lord's Supper (all of those terms refer to the same sacrament) are never intended to be a casual, unimportant ritual. After all, we are meeting Jesus for lunch -- what can be casual about that?

Neither should our celebrations of Holy Communion be dull, boring, or sad. I once heard a professor of worship say, "Holy Communion is not a funeral luncheon for a dead Jesus -- but sometimes you couldn't tell it by our worship services."

So what do we expect when we come to the Table? Do we see it as "just lunch" or as a "memorial meal" or as one more dull ritual in our church?

I hope that we can all come to the Lord's Table filled with expectation for a celebration of the living presence of Christ with us. Holy Communion is never "just lunch."

from Bishop Michael J. Coyner