Wednesday, September 05, 2012
creationary Mark 7:24-30: the dog just scoffed the communion bread
Creationary: a space to be creative with the lectionary (in this case, visual images on themes of pilgrimage). For more resources go here.
With the Lectionary reading for Sunday including Mark 7:24-30, it brought to mind a memorable moment in my pastoral ministry –
It’s Sunday night and the people of God are gathered around the communion table. The youngest is Sam, all of 10 months. The oldest is Gavin, all of 60. A visitor wanders in late and takes a seat on a empty couch. Complete with dog on a leash. Rotwieler cross pup.
The people of God stir. Two teenagers quiz the minister. “What’s he doing here?”
“Same as you,” replies the minister, “Being part of church.”
“Why a dog in church?” the 6 year old quizzes her mother.
Delicately the mother picks her way toward an answer. All strangers are welcome. Yes. But are all animals? You see, the 6 year old is a bright one. The 6 year old has a rabbit! If the dog is welcome, then is this a precedent. Mother pictures rabbits lopping up aisle and fish bowls balanced delicately on child laps.
Back at the communion table, religion continues. The words of invitation are offered. This is the table of God. All are invited.
The loaf of bread is broken. Gifts of God. And the broken body of Jesus is passed down the table. For the people of God. People tear a hunk of God’s body. Crumbs shower on carpet.
Out of the corner of the eye, a blurr of movement. In a flash, the body of Christ is gone, woofed down by hungry jaws. Teenagers stare. The 6 year old is agog. Eagerly the dog looks up, licking the crumbs of Christ off salivating jaws.
Mark 7:28 But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”