For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11:23-25, NIV)
Christians around the world hear these words and their thoughts immediately turn to Christ and what He did on the cross for them. Emotions manifest themselves in tears of remorse, prayers of thanksgiving, and commitments to live for God once again. It is a holy time, set apart for God and His people as they interact with Him and find forgiveness, wholeness, and new life. It is a special celebration of a life given up so that others might live, and that they in turn can live for Him. It is a sacred ritual done in remembrance of Jesus and all that He did and continues to do for all who believe in Him.
With all that being true, one would think that celebrating communion would be something that brings Christians together and unites them across church traditions and denominational lines. Instead, the opposite is true. Over the years arguments over exactly what happens to the bread and the wine have divided the Body of Christ. Debates over how communion is to be celebrated have pitted Christians against one another, with Christians of one denomination or church excluding all others who don’t take it exactly the same way that they do.
"the miraculoustruth expressed in the Lord’s Supper – that He comes and lives inside us and that we live in Him and through Him – is overshadowed and nearly forgotten in the debates over how we should take it and if the bread and wine are literally His flesh and blood or are simply symbolic."
Jesus – the One who prayed that all who followed Him would be one just as He and the Father are one (John 17) – must be heartbroken over all the division in His body. The very thing that should unite us divides us. And even worse, the miraculous truth expressed in the Lord’s Supper – that He comes and lives inside us and that we live in Him and through Him – is overshadowed and nearly forgotten in the debates.
However you celebrate communion, hang on to the truth that God comes and lives inside of you. Don’t take it for granted; don’t skim over it because it is so familiar. Take a moment and think about it. You are a temple of the Living God. He lives in you and through you. When you eat His flesh and drink His blood He becomes a part of your body, a part of you, a part of who you are. And in like manner, you become a part of Him. The two become one. And that one – Christ in you and you in Christ – is the hope of the world, the salvation of men and women across the globe.
When you think about it, this is beyond miraculous. It is mind-blowing. It is beyond human comprehension. It must be illuminated to us by the Holy Spirit, and even then we can only begin to understand what it means when Jesus invites us to dine upon his flesh and to drink from Him. He becomes our sustenance, our life source, our all-in-all, our everything. We eat and drink of Him and we will never hunger or thirst again.
So when it comes time to celebrate communion, take the sacraments, participate in the Lord’s Supper or whatever it is you like to call it, think about the miracle of Christ in you. Christ in your brothers and sisters, Christ in us and us in Christ – this is the hope of glory and the hope of all mankind.
Let’s Pray Together:Jesus, help us all to understand and embrace everything that You offer us in the bread and the cup. Let us receive the offering of Your body, given for us, and help us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to You. Let us receive the blood of the New Covenant, that You shed for the forgiveness of our sins, so that we might be not only forgiven but righteous, cleansed, and whole before You. Reveal to us the miracle of Christ in us, the hope of glory and the hope of humankind, and help us to embrace our role as ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors of the Living God...(continue praying as you feel led…)