Communion – not a memorial

Easter Sunday – the Son Shines – forever

Matthew 26:17-30 (NIV): “On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’

He replied, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, “The Teacher says: my appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.”’ So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?’

Jesus replied, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.’ Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?’ Jesus answered, ‘You have said so.’

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

The resurrection of Jesus, is God’s proof of His promise to us as contained in the new covenant. If, there was no resurrection there would be no rational reason to follow Christ.

In the Easter Sunday service I attended there were many visitors, perhaps some were on holiday in the area; possibly with some others, it was one of the few church services they attend during the year.

It had me thinking for awhile, that for many years people have been attending similar Easter Sunday services – have we changed, for the better, over the years? Have we matured in our faith compared to those who lived in the first few centuries after the first Easter. After all, we have nearly two thousand years of history to tell us how well we have been accepting His Spirit to guide us in following His will. I sometime worry, that we – as a Church – are, in general, sliding backwards – am I wrong?

Selwyn writes a lot of good stuff in today’s study: ” … Because Jesus died and rose again, everything has been made new: we have a new covenant, new life, and become a new creation [2 Corinthians 5:17]. We rejoice now in the life He gives and relish our hope of sharing in the final marriage supper of the Lamb [Revelation 19:7-9].

Meanwhile for us, the Lord’s Supper is never a funeral wake but always a feast of joy. Through the Holy Spirit’s work, it is not so much Christ’s absence but His real presence that makes our hearts long for His coming again. The bread and wine which we take are not the last rites of a lost cause but the first sacraments of a living Church.

Jesus’ disciples learned, as we do, that breaking bread with Him is not an act of commiseration but of communion with the once crucified but risen and returning Lord.”

Perhaps, if we recall what Selwyn said yesterday: ‘Today, as you take bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper, seek to renew your faith in God’s astonishing covenant commitment to us and to working within us.’

Meditate on the truth that Holy Communion is not a memorial service for someone who has died but the sharing of love with our God who lives in us. Let’s pray that the day – we drink wine with Jesus in His kingdom – is today!

Any thoughts?