Every week–or almost every week–we get communion bread at the local Bake Shop. They have graciously donated it to us for years. So, on Saturday, I usually go over and get a nice sourdough roll for our early Sunday service. We only average under 10 people at our early service so a good-sized sandwich roll is enough. And, while you may think that sourdough would be too harsh a flavor for communion, the sourdough at the Bake Shop in Girdwood is more like a wheat. It’s good. And, even though I get Saturday’s roll, it’s always good. Then, after our 8:30 AM service on Sunday, I–or, more often, a gentleman named Joe–go and get a full loaf of that great sourdough bread for our 10 AM worship, where we have quite a few more people.
Saturday was Christmas Day and the Bake Shop was closed. So, when I called at about 7 PM on Saturday evening, I expected to find no one there and I’d have to make do with a little dinner roll from our own house for communion. But, someone was at the Bake Shop to work on the bread. She said they didn’t make bread that day but they had bread from Friday. That was good enough, I thought, and I went by and picked it up…three rolls.
I was concerned that the bread was going to be too hard if left out overnight. It was already a day old. So, I put the rolls in the church freezer to keep until morning with the understanding that, as soon as I got in on Sunday morning, I would pull the rolls from the freezer and they would be thawed by the time communion rolled around. All would be well…I thought.
So, on Sunday I came in and pulled those loaves from the freezer. Worship ensued. And, about an hour after the bread had been pulled out, I went up to the altar to break one of the rolls for communion.
I couldn’t break it.
It was frozen solid.
I couldn’t even pull a little bit off.
I believe I uttered before the 6 people there that day, “I froze Jesus.”
So, I tried another roll.
Finally, I was able to break off a small piece of the third roll. It was, admittedly, quite cold. But it was broken…and it was broken for us.
This was a Holy Communion (almost) Fail. It could have been far worse….
Like that time I dropped the chalice.
But that’s a different story.
Fortunately, this is a crew who would have laughed it off, forgiven me, and had yet another story to tell about Girdwood Chapel.