Wednesday, October 6, 2004

my childhood religion

I was raised in the Church of Christ.  Not that rather weird "Worldwide Church of Christ" and not the "United Church of Christ".  I'm sure some of their beliefs may have loosened up with time, since Max Lucado is a Church of Christ preacher, and he seems to have it all together.  But when I was a kid, if you weren't a member of THE Church (C of C) you were headed for hell.  They try to follow New Testament teaching strictly, so since pianos aren't mentioned in the New Testament Church, they didn't have instruments of any kind; just a cappello singing.  I have the utmost respect for their Bible knowledge, so don't think I'm slamming them.  However, I'm not tied to any denomination these days.  The church I attend now was chosen because I don't drive, and it's close.

Now, years ago when THE Church had communion (every Sunday, of course!), they passed one communion goblet around to everyone.  In the 40's and 50's, people began to worry about germs, so they came up with the Communion trays with tiny individual glasses.  But some of the old-line Churches of Christ pointed out that, at the Last Supper, Jesus took "the Cup" and blessed it... only ONE cup.  Therefore they deemed it a sin to have individual cups.  Believe it or not, congregations actually divided over this!

Most of her life, my Grandma attended tiny Zion Church of Christ, down the hill from her house.  In the last years before its demise, there were only about three families in attendence.  As a child, I enjoyed going down there with my cousins and "playing Church" in a real church.  Anyway, Grandma was in charge of the Communion.  She'd bake the unleavened bread (looked like pie crust to me) on Saturday.  In the fall she'd can Concord grape juice to be used in Communion.  She had a felt-lined suitcase that held two Communion goblets, and that's what she carried the Elements to Church in.

Somehow, my mom ended up with the Communion glasses, and she passed them on to me.  I hold them and remember summer Sundays looking out the two doors (the pulpit was between the two doors at Zion Church, so you could look straight ahead and see the crops and daydream, during extremely boring services.  There was no preacher there; as I remember, that was another thing they didn't believe in, paid preachers.  My uncles and  another man took turns "speaking".  None of them were any great shakes as orators.  In summer, since there were no screens on the windows or doors, flies would buzz in, and I'd make a game of seeing how long I could let a fly crawl on my hands or arms without having to chase him off.  Once in a while it occurred to me that the fly may have come straight from one of the two outhouses out back, but I brushed that thought aside.

I wish I could have gotten a better picture of these, but I've tried several locations and angles, and this is as good as it gets:

Anyway, as I often tell my friends, "You can take the girl out of the Church of Christ, but you can't take the Church of Christ out of the girl."  And if you belong, or have ever belonged to that Church, you know exactly what I mean.  These goblets are a reminder of my Christian roots, and I cherish them.

My daughter thinks she can get a clearer picture, so this weekend I may replace that photo with a better one. 


fierro6 said...

Mom, try filling them with grape juice (or something else dark colored) and take a pic against a light wall.  It should work.

mosie1944 said...

Good idea Rachel, I'll try it... and switch pictures if it works.

firestormkids04 said...

What a wonderful memory!  I, too, have a few cherished childhood memories from church.  Those glasses are a treasure forever.  Blessings, Penny

bookncoffee said...

Wow.  I'm your Sister....I really am......raised in the Church of Christ.  Know where your coming from.  You are right.  The church of Christ is NOT coming out of this southern Tennessee girl.

hestiahomeschool said...

Where I was raised, not only did CC not allow instruments, women couldn't vote in the church or be an elder, and cutting your hair/make up were considered sinful...