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.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 11: 23b-27
A PERSONAL CHALLENGE
Have you ever wondered why we take Communion, or why some churches take it weekly, some only quarterly, and others even less than that? There is not an established formula in the Bible that tells us when we have to partake in Communion, but we can follow Jesus’ example in this way. Communion is more than just a memorial and should not be considered a ritual. Communion is a privileged personal observance that brings spiritual truth to our physical self. Every time we participate in this seemingly simple act, we proclaim the Truth that shapes our identity in Jesus and, through remembering, provides us with the continued assurance of the redeeming power of the blood of Jesus Christ in our lives and in our bodies. Taking Communion should also be a personal challenge to examine our hearts and be sure that we are pure and blameless before the Lord. It is a reminder that our sin is what put Jesus on the cross in the first place! Therefore, when we partake in Communion we should do it with our full attention.
ESSENTIAL TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Communion is essential to the spiritual growth and maturity of any Christian. We live in a world that is constantly vying for our time and attention. Every time we turn around we are constantly being bombarded with distractions and, especially with an enemy who is constantly working against us, it is no wonder people are frazzled when they get to church on Sunday Mornings. I have often walked in myself and thought that it has felt like an eternity since last Sunday (only seven days ago), but then, all the more, I feel relieved and encouraged to take that vital moment to refocus my mind and remember my purpose for being.
Matthew 5:23-24 says that if we are offering our gifts to the Lord, but have something against someone, we should put our offering aside, go and make things right with them, and then come back and present ourselves blamelessly before God. This is often something I consider in my heart when I come before the Lord in Communion.
A BEAUTIFUL OPPORTUNITY
Communion is more than just a passing segment in our service. It is an opportunity to repent and adjust our thinking, to reconcile with God and with man, to remember Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. It is a way to thank Jesus for all that He has saved us from; for the present relationship that we have with Him. It is a time to praise Him for how He is currently working in our lives; that He is still with us in every season of life. Communion is a beautiful way to focus on the coming return of Jesus and to rejoice that His promises are and will be ultimately fulfilled!