Summary: Communion message based on "do this in remembrance of Me."
Communion as a Remembrance...
November 20, 2005
At our board meeting last Tuesday, we spent a good deal of time talking about celebrating the Lord’s Supper, or communion. We were unanimous in our opinion that we don’t observe it nearly often enough and that we should do something about it.
We then decided to try an experiment of having it the first Sunday of every month. I think it’s a great idea and it wasn’t even mine!
And we’re going to celebrate today as well, because I think that the Sunday before Thanksgiving is a great time to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
I don’t know about you, but images of the early Thanksgiving celebrations with the pilgrims and Indians bring forth thoughts of God-ordained fellowship among God’s people.
Obviously, not everyone who was at these early celebrations was a follower of Jesus, but the celebrations were a time to celebrate the goodness of God.
Communion is in my mind a kind of celebration of the goodness of God, as we remember the goodness in sending his Son to shed his blood for our sins. And its good to do that among our brothers and sisters in worship.
Communion has some other connotations as well. The word "communion" itself denotes a close union. In communion we rededicate ourselves to close union to God, and we also see communion as a way to gain a deeper fellowship with other believers.
Is it any wonder that the words "communion" and "community" share the same root? They are also derived from the same Latin origins.
But the aspect of communion I want us to focus on today is that of "remembrance." Over the next few months, we will look at these other aspects, and delve into them more. But today, the operative word is "remember."
Many of you have no doubt that our communion table has something wrong with it. The word "Me" is broken and missing a piece of the letter "M."
And chances are that there are some of you who’re going absolutely nuts inside because of it - you like things nice and perfect, and this is bugging you big time.
Don’t worry - we’re working on getting it fixed, but for now, there it is.
In the meantime, I think it’s a good reminder of something - that often our remembrances of Jesus and his sacrifice are less than perfect. If we take the time to remember at all, that is.
For all our spiritual talk and posturing, we Christians can be a pretty shallow lot sometimes, even when it comes to such important things as remembering the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf.
And while I don’t claim that today you’ll leave here having had a perfect remembrance as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, maybe you can use this little flaw to remind you to pray to God for a better remembrance.
Our Scripture passage for today is Luke Luke 22:14-20. And it’s printed for you in the note-taking guide. Please follow along as I read this.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."
Before we partake of the Lord’s supper, I want to take just a little time to look at three benefits of this discipline of "remembering."
My intention in doing this to help drive home the fact that "remembering" in this sense is more than just recalling where you put your car keys.
This kind of remembering should be life-changing. And I hope it will be for you today.
Let’s get started by looking at the first benefit of remembering:
Remembering keeps us from becoming casual in our thanks for what Jesus did for us.
We dress pretty casually here at AWC. Some wear nice suits and ties, and others where jeans. And neither is wrong, in my opinion.
But we need to understand that our relationship with God should never be casual. God takes that relationship seriously, and so should we. Our relationship with God is supposed to change our lives. It should impact every area of our lives.