On Saturday mornings when we were children, my sister and I would wake up early and run to the living room where we would consult the oracle TV Guide as to what viewing glories awaited us. Occasionally, we would be disappointed by that dreaded symbol next to one of our favorite programs: the letter "r." You may be familiar with the MPAA rating, but I assure you the TV Guide "r" was much, much, worse. It meant the this episode was a rerun, and, being connoisseurs of cartoons, we would inevitably have already seen it. A toddler's tragedy.
This week, as we partake in communion at Christ Church, I can't help thinking that many of our congregants will open the bulletin and view the liturgy with the same underwhelmed spirit as those forced into sitting through a re-run. "Again? I feel like we just did this." Even if we concede that the sacrament and liturgy are are deep and powerful (which I assure you they are), one might be understandably wary of falling into a repetitive rut by doing something too frequently. After all, we wouldn't want to simply go through the motions and risk not getting anything out of it.
The problem with the rerun mentality is that it puts us on the couch when we belong on the stage. We are the players in this reenactment of the pinnacle of God's love for us. Of course the actors know the lines and can recite them from heart; perhaps they occasionally become so familiar they lose meaning in the speaker's ears. But memorization is only the beginning. The actor's ultimate work is the pleasure of the audience, (of which we are not primarily a part).
God is the Writer and Director of a masterpiece; the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and He loves to see His actors celebrate His passion with fervor of their own. As I think back to my time in the theatre, I remember with clarity the cast's desire to please our director, a man who watched the same cast perform the same show night after night after night. He delighted in our passionate effort and we in His pleasure. How much more so when the script itself recounts the very foundation of our own hope and future? This week, let's try to think of communion less as a television rerun and more as our encore performance of the greatest masterpiece ever created.