In his last meal with his disciples, Jesus gave them bread and wine and told them that whenever they gathered for this meal again, they were to eat it to remember him (Luke 22:17-20). This became known as the Lord’s Supper, also called communion. Thousands of years later, we still come and eat this meal. We come and remember.Why do we need something tangible, a physical act to help us remember Jesus? When it comes right down to it, we are forgetful little beings. We have spiritual amnesia, making choices every day that do not reflect who we were created to be, or what we were saved from. Jesus knew we would need something to help shake us out of our self-absorption, something to help snap us back to sanity. Communion is a reminder that so often, we choose to serve ourselves and to forget our God. Yet Jesus chose to serve us and to forget himself.
I’ve been trying to practice this remembering, hoping that the chewing and the swallowing will sink into my heart and mind, that I will not so easily forget my God, and that I will remember what Jesus gave us. I need to remember that because he gave himself, I have the freedom I crave, the security I chase after, and the grace I so desperately need. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
As we come to the table this week, may we think about this great love. May we come in this spirit. May we remember:
Come as you are, without pretense or mask
Come in freedom, the chains of yourself broken
Come in need, willing to ask for help
Come in grace, alive with this immense gift
Come at rest, ceasing from your endless activities
Come in acceptance, believing that you belong
Come in hope, that these present sufferings will be a distant memory
Come in faith, that he is writing your story into his story
Come in the name of Jesus, thankful for new life pulsing in your body, thankful for the chance to start again.
Come and remember.