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Communion, It Ain’t Wafers and Wine

The Pub and Coffee Shop

Tuesday night I wandered into my pub, Tap Room, for Tap Room Tuesday with my crew of people. Justin, our waiter, smiled and waved as I walked in. Justin knows my name. If I roll in early enough he asks about my family and week.

He knows my order.

He is happy that my crew and I are there.

In so many ways, Justin pastors me.

As I write this morning, I’m sitting here sipping on a coffee at my coffee shop. There is a sense of contentment that I feel when I’m here that I can’t quite explain. The barista, Scott, knows my name. He’s been my barista for a while now. I got to know him at Cream and Crumb and then at Cultivate (or maybe it was the other way around?).

When I walk in he knows my name.

He knows my order.

He knows about my kids and asks about them.

In so many ways, Scott pastors me.


Justin and Scott through their presence in these spaces create something in our neighborhood that is critically important. They create connection. They may not realize it, but they are building community. As we come in and out of their orbits we feel loved, cared for, and welcomed.

I don’t know about you, but I know deep in my soul there is a longing for communion. Communion is defined as, “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.”1

If you ask a church goer what communion is they will tell you it’s the “Lord’s Supper.” This is the time in worship when many churches will offer bread and juice (or wine) in accordance with the Scriptures.

But this isn’t really communion, for most. It’s usually quite individualistic and solitary.

We long for communion, the sharing of intimate thoughts and feelings on a mental or spiritual level.

It’s part of what makes us human.

I haven’t done the deep dive into the research, but I wonder if the reason that so many of us struggle with depression and anxiety is our lack of communion. We are more “connected” than ever and yet somehow more isolated.

We are a lonely people.

There is little communion.

When I show up at the coffee shop or the pub, I get a taste of communion.

I hope that when people show up at my house on Sunday evenings that they get to experience communion. I’m realizing that this is the core of pastoring. It’s not converting people or “preaching the Word.” No, it really comes down to facilitating communion. It’s helping people feel loved, welcomed, and cared for.

Where do you experience communion? How are you offering it to others?

// Footnotes //
  1. Oxford Languages on Google[]

2 thoughts on “Communion, It Ain’t Wafers and Wine”

  1. Dan,
    First, I have always felt a connection to you, if that’s communion, okay. You are so open, kind and humanist I think you invite communion with you.
    I find communion in connection with others as well. From friends to family, Tony job as a sub at Saline High School, if you are open to those moments that connect you to another, you feel it and need it and get hungry for it.
    Lastly, I don’t get the whole physical communion thing. When it’s said that “this is my blood” and “this is my flesh”, how do you take seriously that it truly is that?

    1. Scott, thanks for the kind words! You too invite communion with those around you.

      What you’re speaking of in your question is referred to as “transubstantiation.” It’s a Roman Catholic doctrine that teaches the wafer and wine by divine miracle become the real flesh and blood of Christ. I think the Roman Catholic position is flawed here. I hold to an understanding of the Lord’s Supper that as we celebrate there is a spiritual or mystical (if one might prefer) presence of Christ. The bread and juice stay bread and juice. There’s nothing magical about them, they’re just bread and juice (or wine).

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