In Spring 2020, at the start of the global lockdown, my top concern for myself was to partake of the Lord’s Supper every week. With churches closed to the public and Sunday services no longer held in person, I felt a nudge to start a gathering online and resolve to remain steady in observing Jesus’ death by taking communion regularly with other believers. By God’s grace, during the pandemic, Jim and I took communion every week. We never missed.
One of the benefits of that season that lasted for well over a year was that some of us took turns in preparing meditations, so that our time together spent with the bread and cup would be guided very closely by God’s Word. It’s amazing how much can be said
directly on point about the passages in Scripture that recount that special night when Jesus instituted this holy practice. Absorbing the depths of the truth is joyful exercise that requires us as a group to repeat, repeat, repeat and rehearse the meal again.
Friends, it changes you for the better when you pause and turn your attention to focus on the Self-sacrifice of Jesus. Here are several musings to explain why I myself take communion every week.
First of all, to remember Jesus Christ as the one and only Savior is to offload any notion of thinking we can somehow save ourselves. Salvation comes externally from outside of ourselves. We are saved by God, not by anything that pertains to our own doing (Ephesians 2:8-9). To take communion is to proclaim that Jesus gets the credit for rescuing our souls. His Righteousness, not ours, fulfills the Law (Matthew 5:17).
Second, to take communion is to realize what love looks like. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus actually died for us sheerly due to His love. Ten thousand opportunities to ponder that amazement aren’t near enough for me. It’s so unsaid in society that the truth of it seems distant and ethereal. Eating the bread, drinking of the vine makes the gospel palpable and real. It’s not as though I doubt the truth. I honestly believe it; I have never not believed it. But my belief is freighted by innumerable distractions. Thus I desire again to approach the table again and enter one more time into the story of the Man Who died for me.
Third, to eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood by ingesting the physical elements of communion is to practice understanding that our identity is truly found in Him (Galatians 2:20-21). The apostle Paul explains what Jesus accomplished: “He Who knew no sin became sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21). How the likes of us, sinners as we are, can become the very righteousness of God “in Him” is a miracle. The Bible says, “we.” That “we” might become the righteousness of God. Communion has to do with all believers. If everyone in the Church would come to understand that “we” are together the righteousness of God all because of Christ, we could become a visible community of loving, forgiving people who genuinely are not threatened by each other. Wouldn’t it be something if society could see us loving one another as Christ said? “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
I could go on and on, making many other points about the gift of taking communion. Instead, I’ll close by letting you know that still now, on Thursday mornings at 9:00 am Pacific, I lead a little group on Zoom that you are invited to. Those of us who come bring our own piece of bread and blood-colored juice, and together we rehearse the mystery and the meaning of Jesus’ atoning death. Be sure to sign up right here.
As we approach Easter, may we remember Good Friday that marks the very day that Jesus died. If you’d like to come, we have another complimentary service, and that is me reviewing the whole, entire Bible in two hours. That’s right, the whole Bible – I’m teaching the whole Bible in two hours. Anyone can come if they register here.