Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sacred and the Secular

I'm part of an online forum where discussion takes place concerning the Sacraments. In the Protestant evangelical circles I'm a part of we have 2 : Baptism & Holy Communion. (Some denominations have more, but these two transcend throughout all of Christendom) (The Catholic Church has 7 - This forum is loosely connected to the denomination I am a part of and particularly for those of us who hold highly these 2 sacraments. 

But what does the Sacred in the Secular mean? The elements of communion are among us daily. Historically we understand Jesus to have been dining at the Feast of Passover when he initiated this "new" practice for his friends/followers/believers to participate in. The bread and the cup were picked up from the table, symbolic Passover Feast elements. He takes them in his hands and calls those with him that day to remember him every time they eat the bread and drink the cup.

A question was posted on the online forum revolving around an experience seeing the "tools" used in an unusual manner. And the question was raised "why is that, and isn't it wrong!?!"  Here’s the background : Often in the evangelical churches across our country, tiny little plastic communion cups are filled and placed in a shiny gold or silver "holder" ( And then the elements are efficiently distributed to the congregants.
 This particular situation, spoken of in the forum, saw these same cups and cup holder used at a State Fair to give sample taste-testers of their special sauces.

Out of this situation, here are my questions : is it odd to use the sacred in the secular - or is it exciting and admirable? How does using an item originally intended for a different purpose change the significance of the original purpose? Does seeing something out of place draw our attention to that which we have forgotten about, that which is in the far back reaches of our mind?I believe the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament is one of creativity. God is one who loves to see us engage in new opportunity and I believe God receives joy when he sees us interacting and reshaping. God is thrilled when the old is repurposes and given new life. This is precisely what the Christian story is about. New Life.

I love finding the Sacred intermixing in the secular. I hope we never move to a state of Sacred vs Secular. But rather strive to find creative redemption in the midst of our everyday lives. May the ordinary elements of our day draw us into communion with the EXTRAORDINARY.