Today’s Reading is 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread, And having given thanks, He broke it and said, This is My body, which is given for you; this do unto the remembrance of Me. Similarly also the cup after they had dined, saying, This cup is the new covenant established in My blood; this do, as often as you drink it, unto the remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you declare the Lord's death until He comes.
These words bring me such comfort. I grew up hearing them regularly in church. I remember my first communion. I was 9. My church made me take a year of doctrine class before I was allowed to be baptized. I was excited about the baptism, but I was more excited that I would get to take communion immediately after. In the Baptist church of my youth, getting baptized meant being submerged fully. I had to bring a change of clothes for after. I remember being in the restroom after the baptism and changing clothes while my mom towel-dried my hair. I kept telling her to please hurry because I didn’t want to miss communion. She told me to relax because they wouldn’t start communion without me.
I spent a good portion of my life missing something important in my mom’s advice on that day. Part of the ritual of communion in a Baptist church is to take time to first examine your heart and spend a moment in silence before the Lord to confess any unconfessed sin. Because of that personal moment at the beginning, I tended to think of the rest of communion as personal/individual. I thought through what Jesus had done for me personally without much thought for the people around me.
Did you notice in the passage above that Jesus didn’t meet individually with each of His disciples to share this act with them? He met with them as a group and shared this first communion with them as a community. No one was left out. No one took their communion over in a corner or stepped outside with it. This was a feast they enjoyed together – in the presence of God – and with each other.
God Almighty, You have already given us so much in the gifts of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. How blessed we are that you have also given us each other. Thank You for being a communal God. Thank You for the gift of the Sacrament of Communion and the way You call us to all be together in community with You. Amen.
Prayer Concern: Unity