Reflections on Communion

Yesterday was World Communion Sunday.  It was started in 1933 by a Doctor Hugh Thompson Kerr and happens on the first Sunday of October.  Out our church, we celebrate communion every day.  Since it happens often, we really have to find within ourselves the resistance to make this practice a “ritual.”  I hope that you find meaning in your continued practice.

This happens to me every week

I sit at the piano in the sanctuary–staring down at the plate.  I prepare my heart to hear the words come from the center table right in front of me.  I hear the beautiful words,

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24)

I pick up the small oblong cracker we use for communion as the words start.  My heart grows weary as I hold it between my fingers–I imagine our Lord and Saviour whole, holy, and sinless.  I imagine Him thinking of us as His children and looking towards the sacrifice He was going to endure in the last moments of His life.  I’ve always heard, “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.”  I have to be part of the problem that Jesus is the sole (and soul) solution to.  I prepare myself in an instance for what happens next.

“When He had given thanks”–I’m thankful for Him being the solution.  I have just a split second to be thankful before the words come.  “He broke it.”  I quickly think of how Jesus’s body was broken for us.  I think about the nails I held in my hand the many times I sinned.  It was for me and others around me that His body was broken.  I take a deep breath, remembering the wafer in my fingers.  I then, after a pause of reflection of the symbolism of the bread breaking, break the bread.

I feel as if my breath catches.  I fight back the tears as I imagine my beloved Lord being crucified willingly.  A new wave of thankfulness flows in me as I bring my attention back to the words being said at the table, “This is my body, which is for you.”  He not only suffered and died for me–His whole life and presence on earth was (is) for me.  I have to remember and be thankful in every day of my life.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11:25).

This is the blood that washes me clean.  I have barely had the time to fully remember the birth, life, and death of our Lord when these words enter my ears.  It is His gift of love that solidifies the New Covenant.  The blows of my hammer upon the nails on His cross may have caused the blood, but His willingness and righteousness frees me.  He wants us all the be free.

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Cor. 11:26)

I turn to you.  What do you do to remember and proclaim the Lord’s death in communion?  I remember His resurrection and victory over death.  But, how do you remember the body and the blood?

Your turn

After weekly “Lord’s Suppers,” it is easy for us to fall into a trap of complacency.  It is easy for us to tune out during this time of worship.  But we have to remember that this is the main reason the early church met.  They met together, ate together, and shared the Lord’s supper as part of the meal.  (see Acts 20:17, Acts 2:24-47).

How does communion affect you?  What do you do remember during communion service? Please comment in the comment section below.