The only sure way to never mess up communion would be to never have communion. There’s an old pastor’s joke that relates to this. When a young man says he wants to get hired to pastor a church where there aren’t any problems, he’s exhorted that if he finds such a church, he shouldn’t go there, because he will be the problem. But here we are, limitations and weaknesses and unfinished parts and all, and here is where we’re instructed to eat bread and drink wine together in the Lord’s name.
Unlike with manna, we don’t go out on Sunday mornings and find the elements sent from heaven like dew on the ground. We have a rotation of servants who bake the bread, we have a rotation of teams who prepare the containers, we have a guy who supplies all the wine. Last Sunday our baker accidentally used sugar instead of salt in the bread. We’ve also had days when grape juice inadvertently went in the wine trays and vice surprisa when people drank their cup. Occasionally a baker forgets it’s her day, has to run back home and miss the beginning of the service to be a servant and provide for the Supper.
We’ve got people who have to walk up stairs, we’ve got spills of wine on the carpet or fabric, we’ve got all sorts of things that might make you wonder why we don’t just have a moment of silence instead. “Let us remember Jesus, quickly and quietly, before we mess it up.”
But that would really be messing it up. Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Before us is “the cup of blessing” and the bread is a “participation in the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:16). We eat and drink, and deal with inconveniences and accidents, by faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ.