A saltine cracker is a thin, usually square cracker made from white flour, shortening, yeast, and baking soda, and is lightly sprinkled with salt.
I was munching one of these this morning and realize the last time I munched one of these was when I was in Cambodia. I am feeling anxious today especially for the White Rose Conference that a bunch of us will be going this weekend to learn and to be inspired. I am feeling excited today especially that I will be meeting a girlfriend of mine who is also my roomate when we were in Cambodia. We shared the same space of Room 307 or (407?) in the span of 2 weeks. We laughed, we cried, we snored right at each other, we lifted each other up in prayers, we experienced the powerful hands of Jesus stirring our hearts for the nation. I find today is the perfect day to allow myself to remember the taste of this saltine cracker on my tongue and what this saltine cracker means for all of us on that day.
We arrived the Sanctuary at 7:30am in Svay Pak, our first Sunday worship service in Cambodia. We arrived just a bit before the service began and were seated in chairs right up at the front. The service began with 10 young people from Svay Pak leading worship. It was lively and full of life. They were dancing to the song, and I can tell by their co-ordination, they had rehearsed the moves. The music was loud probably because of where I sat. Someone wrote this on the Ratanak Mission blog about a similar experience, and I have to take his words and quote here: “That may sound something of a redundancy but it is not – it was lively music and worship and the worship was full of life. I’ve wondered what it would be like to worship in this community with this community of faith; none of my imaginings came close to reality. It was awesome in the richest sense of the word.” IT WAS AWESOME IN THE RICHEST SENSE OF THE WORD!!
Pastor Chantha was preaching and we didn’t understand a word that he said and it didn’t really matter. After 10 minutes or so, my roomate had the priviledge to have a translator sat next to her, so I had a line or two of summary of what the sermon is about. In about half way through the service, some of the Pastor Chantha’s disciples who had been leading worship came to the front of the church carrying a few plastic trays. I looked in each of the trays were a number of those little plastic communion cups that we used in our church. A thought jumped, “Are we going to celebrate Holy Communion here??” A churn of joy and excitement mingled with a mass of heart tissues and blood vessels.
Pastor Chantha’s disciples began to pass the elements. First came the “wine” – well it was actually some kind of “super sweet” red juice but that delivers the same point.
Then came the “bread”, the saltine cracker it is. A silver plate was filled with all these square crackers. My fingers held the cup, I reached out and took one of the crackers. There I was, in a space where was intentionally built for abusing children, now a space where the Svay Pak community were worshipping the Living God. When the time came, we all held in our hands that small cup of juice and one little square cracker. I had my eyes closed and allowd the sunlight shinning in front of me fell on my face. I wasn’t thinking of sunblock, I wasn’t thinking how hot a day would be after the service, I wasn’t thinking or concerning what type of fruit juice was that, I wasn’t thinking whether I should sanitize my hands before partaking the Communion. I bet no one was thinking of any of the above!!
I ate the cracker and then I drank from the cup.
I had probably the most holy Holy Communion I’d ever had.
“Communion to us is a mysterious gift from God that helps us to know God’s grace in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. It is a physical representation of a set of powerful spiritual truths. It is something that reminds us of our connectedness with our Lord and with each others and fellow disciples of Jesus Christ.”
“Do this in remembrance of me!”, Jesus said.