COMMUNION AND REMEMBRANCE

Communion is an act of remembrance given by Jesus to His disciples. The evening before He was crucified, in anticipation of His departure from this world, Jesus broke the bread and presented the wine of communion to the twelve men who had celebrated the Passover meal with Him. Symbolically, the two elements represent, respectively, His body and blood. But in essence, they convey volumes about Jesus… about our God.

That evening, Jesus offered the bread and wine of communion to His best friends on Earth. These men, knowing the most about Jesus, would have the greatest memories of Him to share among themselves and with others after His death, resurrection, and ascension. They would be the ones least likely to forget a single moment of their lives with Jesus. Yet, they are the men to whom Jesus said, “Remember.”

The act of Communion, never intended by Jesus for those men alone, would be shared by all who would each also come to one day have their own intimate relationship with Jesus, trusting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. For in a morsel of bread and a taste of wine, the Lord God has wrapped up the entire story of His relationship with mankind, including all of our individual stories with Him.

The bread and wine of communion, though, do more than tell a story. They tell the Story of our Lord God’s desire to share Himself—His life—with the Creation that He made for that very purpose. They tell the Story of God’s unbounded goodness and His eternal perfection, of His plan that is built on God’s total provision. They tell of freedom and fulfillment; of great faith and even greater faithfulness. They tell of all-encompassing grace and mercy. They tell the Story of purposeful salvation that reveals God’s limitless love for each individual person specifically created by Him to be with Him forever.

Only God could pack so much into something so small. Made to be God’s conveyor of remembrance, every taste of the communion bread and wine carry Truth forward into our future. Each time that communion is received in remembrance of Jesus, the Story of Truth–the Story of God—is retold, recalling the Story from a new perspective. For every sip from the bottomless cup and every morsel of the self-replenishing bread increase remembrance, enhancing our personal stories with Him, the stories of our personal relationships with our Living God that He created for our everlasting communion with Him.

In turn, more intimate communion enhances personal remembrance of Jesus in both heart and mind, providing us with new and greater intimacy with God. Then from those new God-given positions of greater intimacy, new revelation of Jesus gives more to recall \and tell in sharing the Gospel with others.

Each time that we minister to others in the Name of Jesus, sharing more of our Lord God’s Story with them, the Story itself grows by greater inclusion, increasing the depth of both remembrance and communion. Then in sharing those greater depths with others, they too are drawn deeper into the same communion with Jesus that Jesus Himself has drawn us into with Him. In so doing, we are made a little more like our good Creator.

Opportunity for intimacy with our Lord God is God-created in the tandem act of communion and remembrance. Far from being the Story’s conclusion,  receiving communion in remembrance of Jesus is the Story’s fulfillment, glorifying God alone. In remembrance, God is glorified as the Story is revealed in us; in communion, God is glorified as the Story is revealed to us; and in ministering, God is glorified as the Story is revealed through us. God is always the One exalted by His Story. As we lift God, magnifying Him, He lifts us to a higher level of awareness, drawing us closer to Him. Communion breeds remembrance, and remembrance breeds communion without end.

The complexity of God’s design is so vast that man could never have thought of it. Yet the simplicity of its implementation through the duplication of God’s love by the repetition of God’s acts of service allows even children to understand and experience it. Each person is enabled by God to grow closer in fellowship with Him through both communion’s initiation and its fulfillment again and again.

Initially, only eleven men chose to accept the invitation Jesus offered to twelve to share in His Table. Those who did were then empowered by God the Holy Spirit to become Jesus’ Body on Earth in His absence. In doing so, they shared far more than knowledge of Jesus. For in sharing the Gospel, they shared Jesus’ invitation to eat and drink at His Table—an indescribable personal communion with our Lord God that Jesus makes possible for us all.

By the nurturing work then that was initiated by God the Father through Jesus, the Body grows, empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the Church. Growing from the life of God within, the Body of Believers comes together in increasing remembrance of Jesus and increasing communion with Jesus, uniting the Body in Oneness with God and each other at ever-deepening levels.

In retelling God’s Story through personal remembrance and communion, peace comes in knowing that the Story that our Lord God is writing of our lives with Him is both right and just, as it must be, from beginning to end. For the Story is authored by the Righteous and Just One:  the Creator of ever-increasing Family intimacy through the personal acts of communion and remembrance that He freely offers to all through all generations, giving us the means of continually rejoicing in the unending Story of Jesus.

from The Life of the Cross, 2020

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