The Mystery of the Ordinary: Musings on Communion

Growing up in a Baptist church, I didn’t hear much about mystery. Sermons were deep, but also highly logical, focusing often on analyzing a short text, which was great, and I learned a lot, but each tradition in Christ’s Body has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, hence our need for each other. Some traditions probably focus too much on mystery or use it as an excuse to not think, while others, like the one in which I grew up, tend to be safely cerebral, to the unintentional exclusion of mystery.

“Then You Are Somebody, Sir?”

My Shakespeare professor chanted the first lines of Beowulf in Old English to help us better understand the rhythm of Anglo-Saxon poetry. While I’d read the poem multiple times, I didn’t exactly have the first line memorized, but it didn’t matter. There was magic in these words I couldn’t understand and wouldn’t have recognized if you’d placed them before me. But the archaic words hailed something otherworldly, and my soul longed for it, though I couldn’t tell you what it was.