The Weaker Members

A tes­ti­mo­ny from a WIM mis­sion­ary

See 1 Corinthians 12:12–27

Recently at a prayer meet­ing in Mexico, we cel­e­brat­ed the Lord’s Supper. As the ‘bread’ came around, the per­son on my left made the com­ment, “This is the first time I’ve seen tor­tillas used in place of bread.” This is the sto­ry of why we used tor­tillas.

In November of 2016, I was diag­nosed with Celiac dis­ease, which means gluten caus­es a reac­tion in my intestines. This is an autoim­mune dis­ease and my body thinks that the gluten is an invad­er and my body attacks my intestines. It is painful and the aller­gic reac­tions are seri­ous.

This means that even a small piece of bread (like many church­es use to cel­e­brate the Lord’s Supper) can cause an aller­gic reac­tion that will last at least a week. I hate to be the guy at the restau­rant ask­ing ques­tions about the menu and explain­ing this, but that is me now. It also means that I abstain from tak­ing the Lord’s Supper when there are no oth­er gluten-free options.

Our mis­sions agency, World Indigenous Missions, has val­ues that we abide by. One of those val­ues is “Committed Relationships,” and sim­ply put, we do our best to love one anoth­er and to treat one anoth­er as fam­i­ly. This is not a fact to mem­o­rize with the mind, but it is some­thing that we do our best to live out prac­ti­cal­ly in the details; some­times the details are small, like a crust of bread. That crust of bread can cause a painful reac­tion to a per­son with Celiac, or it can make the Lord’s Supper a time of heal­ing.

1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “And if one mem­ber suf­fers, all the mem­bers suf­fer with it; or if one mem­ber is hon­ored, all the mem­bers rejoice with it.” At that par­tic­u­lar prayer meet­ing, our pres­i­dent, Chris Briles, joined us, and I men­tioned that I would prob­a­bly abstain from the Lord’s Supper. He told me that he would take care of it.  When he came around with the bread, I only saw one bas­ket and I thought that he had for­got­ten. When Chris came to me, he looked at me and smiled. To my sur­prise, I looked down and saw pieces of corn tor­tillas. It was in this con­text that my friend made the com­ment about this being the first time that he had seen tor­tillas used in the Lord’s Supper. I told him, “You don’t know the half of it! Those tor­tillas are for me!” Instead of suf­fer­ing and pain, I expe­ri­enced hon­or and heal­ing. These are fruits of Committed Relationships. Thank you, Chris, and thank you to every­one in WIM for your god­ly exam­ple.  

2 Comments on “The Weaker Members

  1. Interesting, I had nev­er thought of this Gluten issue before.
    Do the Catholic style Waffers affect you in the same way? This is what we use and I’m curi­ous about this?
    Thank you!

    • Yes, the com­mu­nion wafers have the same effect, and this was actu­al­ly a clue in my doc­tor diag­nos­ing the prob­lem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *