Tuesday, November 28, 2006

the dog just scoffed the communion bread

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.

Gifts of God for the people of God. A moment of hospitality? Or a moment of heresy?

Posted by steve at 12:22 PM


  1. Definitely heresy if you’re Catholic!

    Comment by Andrew — November 28, 2006 @ 12:48 pm

  2. Shades of Colossians 1 there, I think. Christ reconciles all things to God through the cross. This is the good news proclaimed to all creatures, says Paul.

    The story of the Syro-Phoenician woman also sprang to mind.

    Comment by Stephen — November 28, 2006 @ 1:08 pm

  3. It really depends on whether or not the dog had been episcopally confirmed. In the Church of England, we are particularly cautious about confirming rottweiler crosses.

    Comment by Paul Roberts — November 28, 2006 @ 8:00 pm

  4. hilarious!

    Comment by jonny — November 29, 2006 @ 3:35 am

  5. You speak of signs and wonders
    I need something other
    I would believe
    If i was able
    I’m waiting for the crumbs from your table

    Even the “dogs” get crumbs. Great picture. Good question.

    Comment by Pernell — November 29, 2006 @ 6:43 am

  6. Well Pernell, it was a “Church for U2 fans service.” And I had played “Crumbs from your table” already – during the offering – sort of ironic, sort of prayerful.

    So your choice of so lyrics is strangely apt.

    Comment by steve — November 30, 2006 @ 9:27 am

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