This past Sunday we had Communion at my church. I remember when I first started out on a low carb diet and I encountered my first Communion. I was panicked. I mean cold sweats stuff. What will the grape juice and tiny cracker do to my weight loss?!? I am sure the same thought crosses the mind of some Christian paleo adherents. I mean you KNOW that you are going to get a gluten exposure when you eat that tiny cracker, right? But I have a different thought.
At the last supper, Jesus used something that would have been readily understood by his disciples to make a point. Bread. Bread, while damaging to your overall health because of the wheat contained therein, made civilization possible. There would be no Jerusalem were it not for grain to help support the society. Grain is still the “staff of life” for many poor cultures world wide. It is cheap to produce and can keep for a period of time. Does that mean you need to make a regular habit of eating the stuff? Absolutely not. I mean you may survive on wheat, but you can thrive without it. But we can’t let our obsession with achieving the best health possible get in the way of experiencing the fullness of our faith.
Jesus did not pass on too many rituals that we should follow. There is no Christmas and Easter in the Bible. In fact, those holidays, while a good opportunity to share about Christ, are remakes of pagan holidays to sell them on Christianity. But one of the sacraments He did give us was Communion. It is a chance to reflect on exactly what He did for us. Of course the bread represents His flesh which was broken by the cross and the wine (or grape juice) is symbolic of the blood he shed as the greatest sin offering ever offered. In fact, it was the final sin offering because He was perfect. To that end, we cannot let this Paleo thing get in the way of our recognition of that very act. Without that act, there would be no reason to be Christian. There would be no grace and there would be no forgiveness of Sin. So the next time the communion plate comes around, forget about your fear of gluten, justified as it may be. Celebrate in the remembrance of what he did for you and me. Unless you are a true celiac, there will be no permanent damage. In fact, if God promises to protect you from the venom of the snake and scorpion (Luke 10:19), I am sure he will protect you from the negative effects of gliadin and gluten.