Stealing Grace

I once saw a five year old steal communion. The moment was really perfect. Photo worthy. Numbers were low that Sunday, so more than half the loaf sat on the altar. The chalice was full of grape juice.  He ran up, grabbed a piece, dipped it, stuck it in his mouth and ran down. The white cloth was all lopsided and stained.  He was obviously embarrassed but I didn’t blame him. That bread is GOOD! And, it was past lunchtime.

So, this evening as I remember the picture perfect moment so fondly, I think:

Grace is freely given.  Why don’t we think there’s enough?

Can’t we all relate to communion stealing? Don’t we all think: I must have some more! Right. Now. And on my own accord.  It may not come again. I know that I do. The problem I see is that indulging on my terms given my needs makes me take-take-take instead of receive-receive-receive. When I believe in a Creator who is the Giver of all, this makes things a bit strained between us. Furthermore, I give greediness a run for it’s money and it’s hard to turn back  because I’m talking and grasping and slamming doors so loudly it’s pitiful. I miss everything when I do this- even good and graceful hand-outs. As I’ve written before, I find myself in this situation more frequently than I’d like to admit. Perhaps this is why I softly smiled to my five year old friend who scrambled so quickly dodging embarrassment or notice.

If only we could swallow this melody instead of more bread:

“But He gives us more grace.” (James 4:6)


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