Communion matters to me.
I am not even sure what has caused me to think about this for the last few weeks. It started at VBS with a donated loaf of bread from Panera. It looked exactly like the loaf of bread used for Communion when I was growing up. My dad used to go buy the loaves & bring them to church for the evening service where we all would partake of the bread & wine. So at VBS, when I was offered a leftover loaf, I had to bring one home to mom & dad as I knew if would bring the same flashback. And it surely did. With the flashback, came sweet conversation about those days at the small church in the Bronx. Funny how a simple loaf of bread could bring us back.
Jesus at the Passover Feast that He celebrates with His disciples, says these words to them….
I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.
(Matthew 26:29 NIV)
The day I read that, now years ago, Communion took on an entirely new meaning for me. Those words pierced me deep in my soul & have stayed there since. The very thought that Christ is waiting, for me, since the very day that He spoke those words is mind boggling. But waiting for me is exactly what He is doing. At this very moment. Until that very day.
The day that He will partake with me in His Father’s kingdom.
Once those words pierced me, I was never able to approach Communion in the same way. Never again was it solely something that I did once a month. The first Sunday of the month.
It became sacred.
It was now something that I was able to partake of but Christ was choosing not. It became a constant reminder that He was waiting for me to join Him where He was – with His Father. It became more than the piece of bread & the small glass of grape juice. Jesus knew the bread would always take us back.
Why does it matter?
I recently finished reading “Bread & Wine” by Shauna Niequist. Beautiful, beautiful book. For many reasons. But for me, the very best chapter is the one in which she explained the importance of The Table…..
Food is a reminder of our humanity, our fragility, our createdness.
The sacraments are tangible ways to represent intangible ideas: new life becomes something we can feel and small and see when we baptize in water. The idea of a Savior, of a sacrifice, of body and blood so many centuries ago, fills our senses and invades our present when our fingers break bread and our mouths fill with wine.
Jesus presented these elements because He wanted that we remember Him daily….
We don’t experience this connection, this remembering, this intimate memory and celebration of Christ, only at the altar. We experience it, or at least we could, every time the bread and wine are present – essentially, every time we are fed.
Jesus wanted us to realize that sharing The Table was important to us, for each one of us….
When you offer peace instead of division, when you offer faith instead of fear, when you offer someone a place at your table instead of keeping them out because they are different or messy or wrong somehow, you represent the heart of Christ.
The Table becomes the place of healing. The very place where as a whole, we each can receive that which we are in need of. It is the very place where we all are equal. It is the place where shame recedes. Where hope is birthed. Where the truth roots a little deeper each time we come.
It is the very place where we are reminded that we matter to Him. That He loves us with a love so deep that He is yet waiting.
Waiting for me.
Waiting for you.
Today I linked with Grace Laced Mondays and The Alabaster Jar and The Better Mom and Hear It, Use It and Inspire Me Monday and Making Your Home Sing and Bible Love Notes and Monday Musings and The Modest Mom and Playdates With God and Sharing His Beauty .