Receiving The Communion of Elmo The Muppet

A year and a half.

“Here you go, Jack. You can eat Elmo’s face,” my wife said as she handed our son some Organic Crunchin’ Crackers in the back seat.

As I drove us back home from church I thought about how unquestionably absurd it is that kids eat their favorite cartoon characters.

I thought about how when I was a kid, I enjoyed Flintstones vitamins, Mickey Mouse popsicles, and Pac-Man pasta in a can.

Kids deliberately choose to eat the characters they love.

Just walk down the cereal aisle at your favorite grocery store and notice how many choices are largely based on some kind of an edible friend.

Sure, it’s simply an effective marketing strategy. But more so is the point that kids don’t think it’s weird to eat Elmo’s face.

Jack gets so upset if he drops his Elmo doll on the drive to daycare. Elmo is his friend. But would Elmo really want Jack to chew on his eyeballs, swallow him, and then digest him?

Sounds pretty morbid when I put it that way.

But what’s really ironic about that drive back from church is that my wife and I had just taken communion; symbolically eating the flesh (crackers) and blood (grape juice) of Christ.

I thought about how for any outsider of Christianity, that concept must sound beyond obscure. It must sound cannibalistic, even.

Taking communion is act done in remembrance of Christ. Do you see the parallel that I realized on the car ride a few Sundays ago?

Jack eats Elmo in remembrance of Elmo’s unconditional friendship and kindness. He takes Elmo with him wherever he goes.

Granted, Elmo didn’t die on a cross for the sins of the world for those who believe in him.

But I guess, if nothing else, what I learned from communion, followed by an Elmo cracker munching session in the car ride home is this:

We consume what, and who, we love.

Whether you’re a toddler and you idolize Elmo the baby Muppet, or you’re 31 and worship Jesus Christ.

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