For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The phrase “in remembrance of me” is familiar to Christians everywhere. They are carved into most communion tables or altars. They are repeated as often as our churches observe the Lord’s Supper. But what do they mean?

What does Jesus want us to remember?

Some tell us to remember Jesus’ death on the cross.
• Recall his pain and suffering.
• Remember that our sins put him there.
• Recollect the scene at Jesus’ death.
But Jesus had not died on the cross when he told Peter, James and John to eat and drink “in remembrance of me.” There must be more that Jesus wants us to remember.
Others encourage us to remember all the wonderful things Jesus did in his ministry.
• Remember the sick people he healed.
• Reminisce about the hungry people he fed.
• Recall his powerful teachings about love and faith.
Even if these miracles are available in the sacraments, they are not present everywhere. There must be more that Jesus wants us to remember.

Jesus says, “Remember me.”
• I am the Creator.
• I was born into my creation.
• I lived as every human is intended to live.
• I died on the Cross and was buried in a cold stone tomb.
• I rose again to live forever.
• My Spirit is with you; helping, guiding and empowering you each day.
• I am coming again. You will see me face to face some day.
That’s a great deal to process and remember when you receive the Lord’s Supper. But I believe there’s even more that Jesus wants us to remember.

Jesus says, “Remember me because of the relationships I make possible for you to enjoy.”
• Remember that you can love your Heavenly Father with all your heart, soul, mind and strength because of me.
• Recall that you can love your neighbor as yourself because of me.

Before you partake of Communion, take a moment or two to prayerfully consider the strength of your connections to God and to others. Relationships are what Jesus wants us to remember.