Growing up in a formal church setting, the communion liturgy included the verses we just read. On communion Sunday, our pastor would wear a more elaborate cassock. His voice would be more lyrical than usual when he read the verses.
Thinking back, in my 8-year-old mind, communion meant a longer service and a later lunch (groan!)
Kidding aside, having participated in communion after communion, it sometimes becomes another ritual. But when we look back at that first communion that Jesus shared with his disciples we see just how powerful it was.
Jesus spoke of his death. He spoke of when his body would be bruised and broken. He spoke of his blood being spilled. And then he gave thanks.
Jesus gave thanks when he spoke of his death.
That’s our God. His cross is an invitation of grace to a hurting and helpless world.
That’s why communion is also called Eucharist, meaning “thanksgiving”. We accept the gift of His grace. All we do in exchange is express our gratitude. We don’t need to clean up our act. We don’t need to jump through hoops. We don’t need to work for our salvation.
The Last Supper is a great reminder that all we have to do is receive that free gift of salvation with a humble and grateful heart.
Bringing It Home
Do I ever feel like I have to work for my salvation? What gets in the way of simply accepting Jesus’ free gift? Do I look at the sacrament of communion as a chore and a ritual or do I see it as a powerful reminder of the grace of God?
Lord Jesus, I sometimes get immune to the immensity of your grace. When I stop to ponder that Last Supper, I’m struck by the fact that you gave thanks for the bread and wine that represented your body and your blood. Thank you for your sacrifice. It’s something I’ll never be able to fully grasp but something that I receive with a heart of thanksgiving. Amen
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