What goes through your mind when it’s time for Communion at your church?
Different churches celebrate this at different times and in different ways, but all Christians are
commanded to do so in remembrance of Christ. (Luke 22:14-20 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
It’s an opportunity to reflect again on the means of our restored relationship with the holy God.
We can rejoice again in certain salvation, effective cleansing, and freedom to pass beyond the curtain into the very
presence of God!
The privileges of a Christian are staggering. Getting to reflect on these things at Communion should be a joy and a blessing – right?
But here is a confession for you: sometimes I dread communion!
When the minister encourages us to reflect on anything that might keep us from taking communion as we should. (The Bible tells us that we should deal with outstanding issues with fellow believers, and not take communion in an unworthy manner – 1 Cor 11:27-9 and Matthew 5:23-24)
I often sit there and silently berate myself for the many ways I have failed the compassionate and loving saviour i’m remembering.
“Here you are again you hypocrite”
“Not much difference in your behaviour since the last time”
“How can you call yourself a follower of Christ?“
Before I know it I have distorted the command and missed the point of communion entirely!
Do this in remembrance of me Jesus said. Remember my sacrifice given for you. A sacrifice that has been accepted by God. His cleansing blood means that when the Father looks at me, he sees Jesus’ perfect obedience for all of eternity!
The command is not to do this in remembrance of ourselves! Looking inward will never qualify me to boldly enter God’s presence. I cannot keep God’s law perfectly as Christ does. That is why I desperately need his rescue, his sacrifice in my stead! That is what the remembrance of communion is all about.
Our ransom paid
If you are a Christian, then your sins are covered by the costly and effective blood of Christ Jesus.
The command to remember at and through the celebration of communion is vital for forgetful human beings.
But the vital question is: Where is your remembrance primarily directed? Is it at yourself?
Your long list of sinful failures? You will not find hope there, only condemnation and a fear of judgement.
No, it must be a remembrance of Christ! A relentless gazing at his beauty, compassion, love, sacrifice, redemption, holiness, and righteousness in our place. When our gaze is at the right person, Communion should transform from a ceremony that we associate with guilt and judgement, to a joyful celebration of Christ.
We drink the cup with all the desperate joy of one who was formerly dying of thirst. The bread should be eaten with joy and peace, and confidence that it is a sign of a rescue that has already happened.
Christ welcomes and daily intercedes for sinners like you and I.
So don’t fall into the trap of looking too hard at yourself during communion. Yes there must be some self examination! Have you accepted Christ’s rescue in faith? Do you truly take communion in remembrance of a sacrifice that you have accepted? Is there anything standing in the way of you taking it? No?
Then move your eyes quickly on from yourself to the eternal saviour. Gaze and be in awe, mourn your sin, but rejoice again in his rescue. “Do this in remembrance of me.”