O God, here we go again.....
As you can imagine, the answer to that question was a long "Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh........"
Then he went on to explain the difference between the Catholic and Lutheran perspective on communion. That while the Catholic's declare that after the wine and bread are blessed they are LITERALLY the body and blood of Christ, and that Christ is LITERALLY present while this is happening. While the Lutherans see communion in a more symbolic and spiritual sense.
Personalty, I never got the whole only-taking-communion-at-one-type-of-church-thing. And I really don't think it matters.
Who cares if it is Catholic or reformed? Who cares if it is a certain type of priest that blesses the bread and wine? Is it really relative what they, or the church members, think the symbolism of this ritual is?
The way I see it, communion is a holy ritual between two people. God and I. That's it. I could care less who blesses it. Or what building I am standing in. These factors are ambiguous and unimportant.
As long as that person is a follower of Christ and holds Gods love in their heart, they are perfectly suited to do the blessing. And it is legit.
I would even let my little brother do it!!!!!
(For real! He is a cool guy!)
Anyhoo..... back to the main story.
So after all that the church leader suggested that I "maybe should not take communion today" . You can only imagine how I felt. Then soon after he came scrambling back, and looked at me and asked me if I profess Christ to be my lord and savior? and I replied with an enthusiastic "YES!" So after further discussion, it was concluded that I could take communion today but to decide that for myself based on my own discretion.
* ps. I did receive communion today.
The wine was a-mid quality Pinto Noir by my guess.
It had rich fruity undertones of cherry and blackberry.
Before the service I noticed that the room had about a dozen people, almost all seniors (majority men) who had some very lively conversations going on. The room didn't have much sound but you could tell there was a whole lot of communication going on. One of the church members there told me that the deaf members really like to catch up with each other at church, because they spend most of their work week around only speaking people. I later talked to one of the speaking members of the church and he mentioned to me that he didn't know sign language personally, but he felt that the deaf members of the church could express themselves better with their hands sometimes, then we can with words, which to me makes sense. In some cultures in the world, a person's hands do half the talking.
I would like to apologize in advance for using a video clip from Eat, Love & Pray in my blog. I never thought I would stoop so low...
Just in case you were wondering, this was not an entirely deaf/signed church service. There was some speaking members at the church. In fact, the church leader himself did not sign and had a interpreter stand beside him during the entire service.
I was curious about a lot of things when I entered this church. How would a church have songs when almost no-one there can speak or possibly hear? Would the lords prayer be recited as a group? How would that work?
Well I got my answers and they were very interesting. The church still had songs that were read out of the song books. When it came time to actually start we were told that we were welcome to "sing or sign along". There was a church member that came to the front of the room as if to lead the song, and he did. With his hands. And the rest of the church members followed him with their hands, signing out the worlds of the songs (the same process was used for group prayers).
It was truly an interesting thing to watch. Instead of group "singing" to glorify God, they were "expressing their hands" in a flowing group performance to express their worship. It was a truly interesting sight to behold, and gave you a real sense of God's love for all.
I am not sure if you saw this one, but it came out 2013. As far as I understand this girl is not deaf, but has deaf parents, and she wanted them to be able to understand he kindergarten Christmas choir.
But besides how much accommodation there was for the deaf people at this church, what really came as a surprise was how much accommodation there was for me! l was quickly connected to the speaking people in the church, even where I could sit next to a speaking person at lunch and they helped me find the papers and songbooks. Truly helpful and welcoming.
There was a banner hanging from the front podium today advertising the story from the Bible that was going to be the center for today's scripture lesson. Something I have been wanting to hear for a very long time actually. Mark 10:17-27
The Poor Young Rich Man.
(NIV)17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[a]”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is[b] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Yes, the famous "Camel thru the Eye of the needle" sermon.
After reading the scripture the church leader gave his thoughts and analysis of this piece of scripture;
-Out of listing the regular 10 commandments Jesus also mentioned " you shall not defraud' which is a separate commandment listed in the book of Leviticus.
-When the young rich man said he has kept all the commandments, Jesus looked upon him and "loved" him. He didn't lecture him about how he is not perfect or rebuke him in any way. He loved him. And offered him a place in his group of disciples.
- Jesus was saying something that was very contradictory to the time. Jew's in that time believed that rich people were rich because God blessed them and they were God's favourites.
-The church leader noted that "wealth can be a barrier" between us and God. And that "The rich think they can trust in their wealth more then they trust in God" . "They can think they are self sufficient".
- "Wealth can be an obstacle to discipleship."
- He finished by pointing out that this is a "very sad story" as this man was the only one that Christ called that could not fulfill the position of discipleship.
I understand the sad feelings that come with the end of this story, but in the last words. I find hope.
Near the end of the service, there were a few more prayers. Those prayers also included something very important:the oncoming Canadian Federal election. We prayed that God grant wisdom to the voters and that we will be given good government.
I am not sure how you feel about the new government. And our new young, good looking, marijuana-friendly Prime Minister. But regardless. This video gave me a good laugh.
A few other interesting things I found out after the service; there is another Church for the deaf here in the city. Actually there is multiple ones. But there is one with an entirely deaf congregation. So that church has no songs of any type included in the service, just because there is no point to it.
I was also told that this churches population can fluctuate a lot. They "never really know" how many people will be at the service on Sunday and that there used to be a lot more attendants and many young children. (back in the day).
Got a photo inside the church before I left.
But regardless, it was a nice quiet Sunday, with a nostalgically-pleasant church with an interesting twist.
And the weather for the walk home was good too!
See ya'll next week!