Today’s Scripture: Mark 14:22-26
22 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.”
23 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. 25 I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”
26 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
I find it amazing that the ritual Jesus set forth on that night so many years ago is one that we still practice today. The basic structure of the ritual has not changed in over 2,000 years. What’s more, you could go to any Christian church in any part of the world at any point in time over the last two millennia and you would not feel out of place when communion was served. This ritual has staying power!
Why is that? Well for one Jesus commands us to do it. In other Gospels he tells the disciples, and us, to “do this in remembrance of me.” So, we’re following Jesus’ command. But I think there is something else. We still observe communion because it makes an impact on our lives.
Books have been written on the proper interpretation of communion and who should administer it and what exactly happens to the bread and the wine. Those are all things that we could debate. But there is something more profound, I think. There is something about communion that mysteriously connects us to the living Christ.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is in the act of communion. Communion is one of those times when the Holy Spirit uses the normal elements of life (bread and wine) and infuses them with Presence. That’s why it’s powerful. Communion reminds us very clearly of the presence of God in our lives. Communion reminds us that Jesus lived, died, and rose again so that we could experience that presence. Communion brings us closer to God. That’s why it’s survived so long.
I will admit it’s been hard to observe communion during the pandemic. We’ve had to gather elements in our home, and we’ve had to use sealed, individually wrapped elements at church. But Westwood will still observe communion once a month – even in a pandemic. We will do so again next Sunday. It’s that important.
Commit yourself to participating in communion this week – even if it’s just you with a cracker and some grape juice in front of your computer monitor. The Holy Spirit works through our technology. The power of communion cannot be stopped by a pandemic.
God thank you for establishing rituals that connect us with you. Thank you especially for the ordinance of communion. Help us to not take it lightly. Remind us of its power. And use it to draw us closer and closer to you.