-Rev Melissa Fain-
23 I received a tradition from the Lord, which I also handed on to you: on the night on which he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread. 24 After giving thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this to remember me.” 25 He did the same thing with the cup, after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do this to remember me.” 26 Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you broadcast the death of the Lord until he comes.
1 Cor 11:23-26 CEB
I love communion. It is the richest symbol in the Christian tradition. I just don't think we fully understand how backwards it must of felt to the Disciples. Scripture told them Jesus was the mighty warrior Christ, come to smite all those against Israel.
Communion happened during Passover. Passover is a sacred meal. It was a reminder of the last plague in Egypt where the Spirit of God literally passed over the Israelite home while killing the first born of the Egyptian families. All they had to do was sacrifice a lamb and put it's blood by the door. That's the God these Disciples were looking for. They wanted to be excluded from the pain, while pain was being wrought on their enemies.
Then he said those words. Bread is Jesus' broken body? What does that mean? This cup is sacrificial blood? Jesus! Please no! God should be the one smiting the enemies, not becoming the blood at the doorway!
I get agitated, angry, and/or arrogant sometimes. Communion is my reset button. Communion is a reminder that I don't always get it. Maybe I get ahead of myself, or lose perspective. I forget that my forms of servitude were set free by the sacrificial blood painted on the door to my escape. Then I come to the table, not as a sinless child of God, but as a repentant one.
I still don't think the Disciples got it, even after the symbol was first enacted. They wouldn't get it until everything was said and done. That's later. Now we sit with the scandalous truth. God is Communion.
Pray with me:
Dear Lamb of God, As you break, mend me. Amen.