This Is My Body and Blood
When Mary and I helped start Faith Bible Church in Oak Cliff, some of the most precious memories we have was meeting in Asa and Billie Holleman’s home, singing praise songs, and then having the communion meal together. A couple of years later when we helped start Midlothian Bible Church, we would spend an entire Sunday evening once a month eating a meal with our church family—an evening that culminated in remembering Jesus with the bread and the cup. We included everyone and took the time to carefully explain the Gospel. If someone wasn’t sure of their relationship with Jesus we encouraged them to join us in our commitment to him. Then we blessed them as they joined us in looking back to the cross in gratitude and forward to his return.
Today the Communion for believers looks both ways—back to the cross and forward to Christ’s return to set up his kingdom. At the first communion meal the first followers of Jesus only looked one way—forward to the cross, but check out how Jesus also reminded them before the cross that the Story would not end in death but in a feast of celebration in his kingdom.
“Now while they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them, ‘Take this bread; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup. He gave thanks and gave it to all of them to drink. ‘This is my blood of the covenant,‘ he said, ‘poured out for all. Count on it! I tell you that I won’t drink from the fruit of the vine until I am drinking anew in the kingdom of God.’” Mark 14:22-25
When I was a boy in the Plymouth Brethren church we had communion every Sunday morning and it was never tacked on like an afterthought. We would spend time praying, sharing things we had learned that week from Scripture, and then close this sharing by partaking of the bread and the wine together. This is the ordinance Jesus has given us –a holy time we can have as often as we want in remembrance of him.
LORD, it’s amazing that whether I’m in Kenya, in Texas, or in South Korea—anywhere believers gather, I can count on the preciousness of sharing these simple elements together as we cherish the cross and the resurrection in the past and look forward to Jesus return in the future. How I praise you that a time is coming when your will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
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