Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Uncle Louie was the patriarch who started it all for them. He was the first to move clear across the country to strike out on his own with a plan and a dream. As he started building his life, he was also building the life of generations to come. Decades of hard work turned a backyard business into a family empire. When uncle Louie died, he was greatly missed. His family began meeting annually not for a family reunion but for a dinner in his honor. An ignorant onlooker might have seen a few dozen people getting together for a spaghetti dinner, but it was much more than that. This dinner was about remembering and celebrating the man who sacrificed so much so that they could live the blessed and fruitful lives they lived.
I was raised in a fundamentalist theology that did not make room for regular communion. Once I became a Christian in adulthood, I had lots of questions about this practice. Being a practical person, my first question regarded the purpose of communion. I would take my piece of cracker and my thimble of juice as the pastor read the scripture and gave us our cues. I would close my eyes and wait in silence. This all seemed rather ceremonial, but I just did not get it. What I was missing was the fact that the purpose of this routine was to remember what Christ gave and did for our freedom and salvation. The cracker did not matter; the juice was not important. The point was to allow the reminder of my Savior’s work to be my spiritual food because communion is a necessary part of our spiritual sustenance.
Jesus certainly seemed like a crazy man when He was telling his followers to eat his flesh and drink his blood. We know this because many turned away after hearing this message. [John 6] They lacked the revelation that his comparison to manna was meant to bring them. Jesus is the embodiment of our faith, the anchor of our hope without whom only death awaits. It is in him that we find all that is good, righteous, just and fulfilling. It is great spiritual nourishment for us to meditate on his work of salvation while we are able. More filling than a cracker, more delicious than wine, the thoughts of our Savior’s completed work should be enough to carry us daily. Father, give us a new revelation of this thing we call communion so that we can remember the Son the way we should and be filled by that remembrance.