I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-24
These words are incredibly important. Remember, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians was written some years before the earliest Gospel. This is, therefore, the first recorded account of any of the words of Jesus. Paul never met Jesus in the flesh but he was convinced that this command had come from the Lord himself. These words are nearly 2,000 years old but they continue to be a fundamental command to the Christian Church today.
The key word in Jesus’ command is “remembrance”. When we share in the communion service we are deliberately recalling what Jesus did when he died on the cross. We are recognising that this was an important moment in history but also an event that continues to transform our lives today. In a miraculous way Jesus meets with us as we gather with our Christian brothers and sisters, and he renews our understanding of our own lives and the life that we share together.
There is a beautiful variety of titles for the communion meal including the Eucharist (which means thanksgiving) and the Lord’s Supper. Whatever we call it, it is our opportunity to centre our lives again on the most powerful expression of love and forgiveness that this world has ever seen. However strong we may be in our Christian faith, we easily get distracted by the busyness and demands of life. The communion service brings us back time and again and we need to thank God for this precious gift.
In what ways does the communion service help you to remember Jesus’ love for you?
Loving God, I thank you for the gift of the communion service and for the way in which it helps me to centre my life on you. Amen