Communion. For many congregations, communion is a long-standing tradition - something we celebrate on a quarterly, monthly, or weekly basis. It is a ritual, a practice, a way of remembering and honoring Christ's sacrifice for us: the body, broken; the blood, poured out. The forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, the life everlasting.
But what if there's more to it than that? What if "do this in remembrance of me" goes beyond the bread and cup - if Jesus really meant "do as I do"?
In Interrupted, Jen Hatmaker noted remembrance comes from the word anamnesis, which means "to make real."
"Communion is more than a memory, more than a reverent moment when we recall Jesus' heroic sacrifice. Remembrance means honoring Jesus' mercy mission with tangible, physical action since it was a tangible, physical sacrifice." - Jen Hatmaker, Interrupted
In communion, we make Christ's sacrifice real again - we experience grace, we receive forgiveness, we are made whole. We live out the story of the Gospel. We become the hands and feet of Christ in the world.
Maybe it's about love and giving to those in need. Maybe it's about self-sacrifice - serving others before ourselves. Maybe it's about inviting people to the table. In Bread and Wine, Shauna Niequist wrote:
"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're different or messy or wrong somehow, you represent the heart of Christ."
Communion is a call to action. How will we respond?
Thank you for inviting us to the table - for welcoming us in, feeding us, nourishing us, filling us. Thank you for the gifts of love and grace, for providing for us and making us whole again.
Lord, we pray that we would honor you through communion. That we may become broken and poured out for others, as you have done for us. That we would make your sacrifice real again.
Use us as your hands and feet to do your work in the world: to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give to those in need, care for the sick, welcome the stranger. Equip us, prepare us, and enable us to love and serve others well. In Jesus' name we pray,
© 2016 Ashley Danyew
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