The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Friday, August 21, 2015

Take, eat, remember

This blog is for the insiders: for those who participate in the regular practice of the church’s meal.

A few years ago June and I had the joy of reading these words and participating in this meal in the city of Corinth.

Why do you participate in this meal? What about this meal is significant to you?

Here is an account of the meal that is often read when the church gathers to partake:

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” (I Corinthians 11:23-26).

Why is this meal important?

1.     It is instituted by the founder of the church. Jesus initiated the first celebration of this meal hours before his death (see Luke 22:14-20).
2.     The elements of the meal, the bread and the cup, signify the body of Jesus. Some Christian traditions understand that the bread and wine become the body of Christ; other traditions understand the bread and wine to represent the body of Christ.
3.     The meal is a meal of remembrance. Followers of Jesus are not to forget the source of their new life. Take, eat, remember!
4.     The cup celebrates our restored relationship with our Creator. Once we were far from God, now we have come near. Once we were lost in our ego-centered existence, now we died to our ego and came alive to the Divine Lover.
5.     Taking the meal is a sermon to the world that new life is found in the foolishness of the Cross. We humbly acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves. It is all a miracle of grace.
6.     The meal is a portent of the future. He who you see rising in front of you will come again, the disciples heard at the Ascension. The meal reminds us that our gaze is toward the horizon not on our present circumstances whatever they may be.

Ronald Friesen © 2015

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