This do in remembrance of me:
I searched around my poorly organized image collection Saturday evening until I found a communion photograph where the words on the table are clear enough to read: “This do in remembrance of me.”
It’s something Jesus said when he was teaching his disciples about the meaning of the bread and the wine. And I believe it is crucially important that we follow Jesus in this, especially on a day known and practiced in all 24 time zones as, “World Communion Sunday.”
We too are disciples of Jesus, and the Lord is talking directly to each one of us. I am convinced that eating the bread and drinking from the cup means next to nothing if we fail to remember, and to honor, the spirit in which Jesus offered these remarkable gifts.
Jesus served the bread and the wine as himself. “This is all of me,” he was saying; “this is one hundred percent of who I am; I am giving it away without reservation, and I’m giving it for you.”
- Not as a guilt offering, to leverage our compliance;
- not as a magic pill, swallowed to make everything okay;
- not as a formula, to follow religiously and cash in;
- not as a free pass for later;
- not as empty ritual;
- not as a way to keep us safe from a fuming mad God – Jesus is God, and his eyes were blazing with light, and compassion – not anger, when he first served his followers the bread and the wine…
Honor Jesus in our response!
Jesus was giving himself – God is giving God’s self – to me, to you, because of love. Overwhelming, overflowing, uncontainable, pure love. A love Christ commanded us to cultivate for, and to practice on, one another. This is not an individual sacrament, hence the “world” in World Communion; hence our need – our imperative – to remember Jesus; hence our responsibility to honor the love he teaches, when we partake of this Holy Meal.
When we get that; when we take the bread and the wine in the spirit of this amazing love, then we cannot be divisive, we cannot judge, we cannot be fractious, we cannot promote factions; we cannot be impatient, unkind, envious, boastful, or dishonor others; we cannot take communion and remain self-seeking, or angry, or keep a record of wrongs, or celebrate dissension….
I believe that list was beginning to sound familiar:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
World Communion Sunday. It’s about being the church. It’s about taking in, and committing ourselves to, and actually practicing the Jesus quality of love….
World Communion Sunday. It’s about being the church. It’s about taking in, and committing ourselves to, and actually practicing the Jesus quality of love…