Summary: Four things to remember as we participate in communion. These four things can make a meaningful difference in how to receive His help in our times of need.
What Are We Supposed to Remember?
Focus: “…this do in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
INTRODUCTION: We had a speaker at our school who lived in Duncan Falls when he was in third grade. I didn’t recognize his name, and I was looking forward to meeting him to see if he were someone I had been in class with at Duncan Falls School. I found out that we both had the same 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Roberts. He told me he used to go to Alton Moore’s grocery store to buy candy--I did too. He used to march in the Memorial Day parade down to Duncan Falls Cemetery--I did too. He related good memories and painful memories of his childhood in Duncan Falls--I did too. These memories of his third grade, over 50 years ago, created a link with my childhood in Duncan Falls even though he was not in my third grade class, and he had moved to Dayton at the end of the school year. We remembered different people and where they lived. It was a nice break in the day to talk with this person who had shared in similar experiences.
We can all probably remember third grade. You may remember good things that stand out, but you probably also remember very painful, humiliating experiences.
TRANSITION: The world crowds out much of our time to reminisce about our experiences of the past as well as to think about spiritual things. Jesus knew that we need time to remember Him, and the communion service is such a planned time to come together and think about what He did for us.
After the Passover supper consisting of roast lamb, herbs, and unleavened bread had been eaten, Jesus took the bread and broke it into pieces and gave it to His disciples. Then he took the cup of wine from the table and passed it from one to another of the disciples.
Jesus said, “I want you to do this in the future--in remembrance of me.” He knew that such a time would help them to relive that special, sacred time with Him. In the future, the communion service was a simple ceremony as compared with the Passover feast, but it was given as a continuing link stretching all the way back from His place at the table to His followers in all ages and in all places down through history. It was given to memorialize the death of Jesus and to keep fresh in our minds the fact that Jesus wants to be as near to us today as He was with the disciples that evening around the table.
Our scripture says, “…this do in remembrance of me.”
In another scripture in I Corinthians 11, Paul told the people that they were not grasping the meaning of the communion. They did not remember the man, Jesus, and hold him in their minds as a living person. They did not commemorate His sacrifice on the cross or celebrate their deliverance from sin through His death.
Maybe we do not grasp what He is trying to tell us either. But today is a time set apart to think about it. What are we supposed to remember about Jesus? There are probably a lot of things.
There are four things I would like to point out today:
1. Remember to Focus on Jesus: The disciples had focused their full attention on Jesus. He was at the center of their lives. They heard only His word. They put Jesus first, and this was the key to their continuing development spiritually. It was not this and this, and this and THEN Jesus. It was Jesus and _____, _____, _____. Because of Him their lives had been completely changed.
In the communion we also have an encounter with Jesus. It is as if we are face to face with Him. We focus our eyes and ears on Him just as the disciples did and bring Him back to center stage. Can we say that He has changed our lives and made us new creations or are we simply unchanged church attenders? Does He make a difference in our life on Monday morning as well as on Sunday? In our world it is easy to get OUT OF FOCUS because we tend to take on the culture in which we live. So much of the time there is no thought of Jesus or no focus on Him whatsoever. We have to take time out to get realigned and refocused to what He is saying to us. To hear his Voice saying, “This is the way I want you to go.”
We are to remember to put Him first in our lives by choosing to go His way in our daily decisions. The communion is a time to refocus on Jesus and to think about what He wants us to be, and to correct things that are not in line with His will for our lives.