This humorous story from Craig Groeschel needs little, if any, introduction. After all, who among us hasn’t been in an awkward and embarrassing situation where we were in the spotlight trying to be important and something unexpected happens. I can feel the sweat forming just thinking about it.
The first time I picked up Craig Groeschel’s book, WEIRD: Because Normal Isn’t Working, I randomly opened it to a page and started reading as I often do to decide if I’m interested or not. I happened to open to this story and I was hooked. I was laughing so hard I was crying by the end. Then I read it out loud to my family in the room and it was even funnier the second time. Craig Groeschel is a great storyteller and I know you’ll enjoy this—and probably relate to the feeling, too.
When I was in my early twenties, my senior pastor got sick and asked me to preach that week. It happened to be the first Sunday of the month, when we regularly celebrated the Lord’s Supper together as a church community. I immediately experienced the familiar feeling of fear mingled with excitement, since I’d never done a Communion service before. . . .
In my best pastoral manner, I dramatically lifted the Communion bread above my head toward heaven. Lowering my spiritually authoritative voice, I proclaimed, “This is Christ’s body, which was broken for you.” As the words flowed, my confidence grew and I thought, This is going well—I can do this.
Grasping the large cracker of matza bread carefully with both hands, I broke off a piece, held it in the air, and said, “Take, eat, the body of Christ.” After serving myself Communion, I would then begin offering it to the congregation. The only problem was that what should have been a small corner of the cracker was more like half a box of saltines.
I panicked. Instead of a small, bite-sized portion, I held a cracker big enough to feed a kindergarten class. Not wanting to break again the bread that symbolized Christ’s body (and make it clear that I didn’t know what I was doing, I quickly shoved it in my mouth. Feels like sand in my throat, I thought, wondering what to do next.
I’d obviously bitten off more than I could chew. (Extra points if you saw that coming.) My eyes started to water as the Sunday crowd stared silently at the spectacle before them. Fear gripped me. How will I ever get this cracker down? What if I can’t? Everyone is going to make fun of me! Man, how do I get in these situations? What a loser! My pastor will hear about this, and I’ll never get to serve Communion again.
Unable to get a full breath, I was aware that my red face was starting to turn purple. I had no choice but to try to gulp down the driest cracker known to man as quickly as possible. Chew and swallow, just chew and swallow, I told myself while the congregation couldn’t decide whether to snicker or perform the Heimlich.
It was about to go from bad to worse.
Suddenly the body of Christ couldn’t decide if it was going to go down or come back up. Certain that in two thousand years of Christian history, no one had ever vomited up the body of our Lord and Savior, I reached for the only drink available to keep him down—which turned out to be, you guessed it, his blood. Or at least the grape juice representing his blood. Gulp. I quickly washed down my mouthful of cracker, took a deep breath, and said, “Once again I’ve been saved by the blood!”
The congregation erupted in laughter and applause.
–Craig Groeschel, WEIRD: Because Normal Isn’t Working, page 133-136.
What a hoot! Craig Groeschel wanted to make an impression (we all do, at times) and got in an awkward situation, but he thought his way through it, making choices that seemed totally reasonable (just shove it all in my mouth) but the situation kept escalating beyond all hope of control. That’s the story of my life, folks, which might be why I found this so incredibly funny.
I bet you have a story to tell. Share a time when you wanted to make an impression and something unexpected happened. Toilet paper, wedding disasters, you name it.
Be sure to check out Craig Groeschel’s book, WEIRD: Because Normal Isn’t Working. It is available from Amazon in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, audio CD, and audio download and from Christianbook.com in hardcover, paperback, ePub, audio CD, and MP3 download.
|Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working
By Craig Groeschel / Zondervan
Tired of trying to fit into today’s culture? The good news is you don’t have to! In Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working, Craig Groeschel outlines what the world considers normal–a life filled with stress, strained relationships, and money woes, and shows how life in Christ frees you from these “normal” behaviors. Rather than live an ordinary life, you can be extraordinary by embracing the wisdom and grace of the gospel. Maybe that is weird, but with God’s help it can be wonderful.
This post is part of the Virtual Book Fair: Christian Authors A to Z. See the list of other authors featured in the Virtual Book Fair.