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As with appreciating nature, feeling in love with ones spouse and desiring a salad over a burger and fries, sometimes we take communion because it is good for us. Sometimes, though it is a practice where we are fully aware of all of the words spoken, the symbolisms, and the great, great sacrifice.

I have gone through the habit and ritual of communion in a robotic fashion, with less connection of my heart to the practise. This past Sunday was not that sort of ritual.

This past Sunday I felt an appreciation, an awareness of the longevity and vast numbers of believers in Christ who have participated in this practise since that Passover night in an upper room some two thousand years ago.

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:”

And it has been passed on, and on, and on. Though variations in presentation, in elements (bread, rice crackers, wine, Welch’s grape juice, etc.), in delivery, etc. Yet it is still basically as Jesus himself directed.

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.”

“My body” … his human flesh, willingly broken, as a debt payment for the sin of all humanity … past, present, future. His body, as sacrifice, was not broken quickly, painlessly but over many hours and torturously. He invites us, to do this as a remembrance of him, of his gift.

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.”

“My blood” … Jesus was like the sacrificial lambs that had been slaughtered as atonement (payment) for sins. But the shedding of his blood was once, for all. Like the first Passover, when it was blood on the doorposts that saved the lives of the Israelites, the Passover of the final supper saved us all … for “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

This act of choosing (for he does not force himself on us) to participate in communion is the ongoing public statement of us that we follow the Christ, and that we receive his sacrifice of flesh and blood, as a personal gift from him.

Sometimes we remember what we are receiving with our whole heart, as when we first received.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

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