Hunger Pangs

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Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8, NKJV throughout).

I accepted Christ at a young age (4), so I have many memories of taking communion as a kid. Everything about it was special: the gold metal trays, the cups of grape juice and tiny wafers, the music, the solemn quiet. As the trays made their way down the row to me, the cups clattered in their slots. My small hands couldn’t hold the trays, so my parents’ bigger, steadier hands took over.

With quick prayers that I wouldn’t drop anything, I selected just right cup and wafer and held on tight. Then the pastor’s words, spoken from 1 Corinthians 11:24: “The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’”

I took and ate. Typical kid, I thought of grabbing the tray of wafers from the usher and cramming every rectangular piece in my mouth. They were white and deliciously bland — not at all like the saltines I ate at home. These wafers melted in my mouth. I hungered for more.

While the organist softly played “The Old Rugged Cross,” the pastor continued reading to verse 25, instructing us to drink the cup as well in remembrance of Christ. I downed the juice and ran my tongue over the purple stain in the cup. Sweet. But the cup wasn’t special; I drank Welch’s grape juice at breakfast all the time. But the wafers — those I got only at communion.

I’m not a kid anymore. I’ve taken many communions since those early days, and they’re still special. I don’t need help with the heavy trays; my hands are big enough. I spend more time examining myself before partaking of the elements, contemplating the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.

My appetite has changed too. I don’t hunger for those little wafers but rather for the Bread of life. I have feasted on His words in Scripture, tasted His presence in prayer, savored His peace in times of despair. I have been filled with His forgiveness when He washed away my sins with the blood I commemorate in communion.

These days I am hungering for food that will last from the One who satisfies my hunger (John 6:27, 35). And one taste isn’t nearly enough.

Sherri Langton is associate editor of the Bible Advocate and lives in Denver, CO.

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