Yesterday I took a group of young people from a church in Austin, TX out to a village church so they could experience a house church. The church was in a village called “Koh Dat” which means “separated island”. It is not really an island, but it was so remote in the forest, that it got that name. Now, since many of the village as become Christians the government build a road to the village, so it is not very far at all anymore. Attending the service I asked the leaders there when was the last time they had celebrated the “Lord’s Supper”. They said it has been a few months. So, we decided we would celebrate it right then. They gathered what they had. A small loaf of bread which was ant-infested and a couple cans of warm coke.
The following two verses are the most significant for me which I reflect on when taking the Lord’s Supper and I shared them to the group:
1 Corinthians 10:17
“17 And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
“ 23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.”
I must admit, I don’t mind having coke for the “wine”. Growing up in a Baptist church we never had wine anyway. It was either some grape juice or strawberry syrup just to get the red color. Coke didn’t taste that bad! All I had to do was brush off the ants (they don’t eat very much) and then I ate the stale bread. We had to share the glasses between four or five people, but we weren’t worried about germs.
Actually, it might be surprising to you to have coke and stale French bread for the Lord’s Supper, but I want to let you know that there was nothing irreverent about it. It is simply the only liquid other than water that the village had at that time.
Our time together, eating from one loaf to reflect on the suffering of Christ was a special moment. In that tiny little house in the Cambodian forest our gathering included Americans, Koreans, Chinese, Phnong (Cambodian minority people) and Khmers (Cambodian majority people). We were certainly the only mixed ethnic group in village that day and we were one; One in the body of Christ and loving each other. I think the Lord’s Supper we celebrated that day was a fitting tribute to what Christ has done!
All glory be to God!