A communion reflection for you at this very unique time for us all…
The original communion moment took place within the context of a feast… a meal between a teacher and his students who became close friends [well, most of them]…
…and i want to call us to this today. With the focus on what is happening with the homeless in Strandfontein, plus our own lockdown context, plus trying to stay connected to family and friends, this Easter weekend just seems a little chaotic. There is no service to go to in terms of physically stepping out of context…
So one thing i want to do this weekend is observe communion. And i don’t want to pick a fight on this because different church denominations have different ideas on how this can and must happen. But as for me and mine, i am going to use these words:
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Do this in remembrance of Me
That’s it! i have never believed that the how is that significant at all. It’s all about the what. When you break bread together, when you share some wine, do this in memory of Me.
It is done with the sacrifice that is about to take place in mind. The broken body [bread]. The poured blood [wine].
My encouragement this weekend is to take whatever you have available to you. And make a moment to do communion with the people around you.
Something that can be broken. Something that can be poured. The key ingredient is the doing of it in remembrance of Me and we all have access to that.
When Jesus says, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me’ i don’t think He is only talking about a memory. A recollection.
i believe that He has in mind the call to follow:
Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Me. [Luke 9.23]
Maybe that’s what Paul means when he tells us later not to enter the communion feast lightly.
“Take part in this observance alongside your commitment to be someone who loves God and people so fully that they include their enemies and the marginalised of society. Don’t bite into the bread if you are not going to give a second thought to those who have been herded into a tent on the edge of town so the rest of us don’t have to consider them. Don’t drink the wine if you are going to selfishly do what you want during lockdown because for some reason you think the rules don’t apply to you.
Don’t chew on the bread if you are not prepared to sit face to face with the person who has sinned against you and offer them a chance of redemption.
Don’t sip the wine if you are not also prepared to swallow your own pride and approach someone who you need to ask for forgiveness.
Is Jesus suggesting there is enough?
The one part that jumped out at me from those two verses i posted was this phrase:
Take this and divide it among you.
Don’t stretch for it. Don’t grasp. Don’t hoard. There is enough.
Val always takes me back to the Israelites wandering around in the desert. God provides manna for them to eat and they are instructed to gather just enough. Take it and divide it among you.
“The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little,”
That feels like the message of the kingdom of Jesus which we are encouraged to lean into in a world that operates in a completely different way. But Jesus speaks the words: Take this and divide it among you.
There is enough for everyone’s need. There is not enough for everyone’s greed.
Helpful words to reflect on as we find something to break and share and eat, and as we find something to drink deeply together. As you celebrate communion this Easter, take a moment to look around physically where you are. Is there anything Jesus would ask of you: Take this and divide it among you?
Have you committed to be the kind of disciple Jesus was asking for: deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Me.
i hope you will make the time.