“Unexpected Communion” by Brently Groshong

I grew up in a faith-based home. My father was a pastor, and the church was the center of our weekly lives. Our family never missed a church gathering, big or small. And like most churches, we took communion once. I never understood why we would celebrate the Eucharist only communion once a month when the Bible stated that we were to eat and drink whenever we gathered together. I also never thought to ask why.

When I was 17, I was part of the church worship band. I was the bass player, and I was the youngest on the team.

That year, Steve Archer—the pioneer of the genre of Jesus music, later to become known as contemporary Christian music—was coming to our small town to perform a concert in the high school gym. The concert’s producer asked if our worship band could open for Steve Archer. It didn’t take us long to say yes. It was our chance to play on the big stage next to rock stars. It also didn’t take long for our worship band to become a “real” band and start holding practices in my dad’s garage.

When the day of the concert finally arrived, there was electricity in the air. We arrived early to meet Steve Archer and his band. He wanted us to understand that we were putting on a show, but he also said we were about to engage in something heavenly, something holy. Then he said something quite unexpected.

“We should take communion. Someone go grab some elements.”

A few minutes later, one of Steve’s crew showed up with soda pop and pizza. And, all eyes were on Steve.

All that kept running through my mind was, “Can we use pizza and coke in place of bread and wine?”

Can we use pizza and coke in place of bread and wine?

Without hesitation, Steve offered these seemingly unholy elements in prayer, and then we drank and ate together.

Through that act of communion, we committed to God the Father, and we committed to each, vowing to bear each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It unified us in mission, and I felt just as much a part of the night as the hired professionals. And Steve was right, we did engage in something holy, and it is a night I will never forget.

This article appears in the October-November 2021 issue of the FBCJXN Magazine. If you’d like to sign up to receive a copy of our magazine in print or digitally, you can subscribe online.