Communion: Do You Know What It Is?

When we drink from the cup that we ask God to bless, isn’t that sharing in the blood of Christ? When we eat the bread that we break, isn’t that sharing in the body of Christ? 17By sharing in the same loaf of bread, we become one body, even though there are many of us.        1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (CEV)

I have been receiving the elements of communion since I was six-years-old. It took me another 40+ years to begin to know the what and why of what I was doing.

For many years, communion was part of the every day ritual of going to church. Yes, every day I went to church when I was in parochial school. Because it was just part of my school day and had little to do with my heart, I can’t say it improved my behavior or thought process as a child.

It is in what we call The Last Supper that we get our scriptural basis for communion. Jesus said to break bread and drink the wine as a remembrance of His body and blood sacrifice for us (Luke 22:17-21). Jesus connected the Passover ritual to the new eternal covenant He made between God and us.

Recently I was reading 2 Corinthians 4-5 and those chapters clicked with “communion” in my spirit. Paul says that we have a treasure, a relationship with Jesus that is the power of God in us. We are reconciled to God because of Jesus and so we have a ministry of reconciliation to share this treasure with others.

Communion is a sacrament. It is an outward sign of an inward change in me. And for me, communion is a celebration of the change in me as I have been reconciled to God and a celebration that we as a Body are reconciled to each other.

But there’s more. There always is with God.

I remember one communion when my heart was hurt and walled off from a friend and as I accepted the elements, I was able to receive and give forgiveness in my heart.

I know a man who was not a Believer but came to church with his wife, went to communion (because the pastor said he could even if he didn’t believe) and met Jesus in that moment of communion. His heart was strangely warmed by the love of Jesus’ broken body and spilled blood.

Communion can be just a ritual, an opportunity to smile and greet people as we walk up the aisle or pass elements. But if we look to it with expectation, put ourselves at the table with Jesus and expect a time in His presence, maybe it will be something more.

Read Luke 22 and 2 Corinthians 4-5 this weekend. It’s a long holiday weekend. When God sees a holiday, He doesn’t take time off from us. He sees it as an opportunity to spend more time with His children. Will we invite Him along?

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