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, who was specifically created by God for His pleasure 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 present and 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 personal remembrance of Jesus, enhancing our personal stories in deeper 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.
Opportunity for intimacy with our Lord God is God-created in the tandem acts of communion and remembrance. Far from being the Story’s conclusion, receiving communion in remembrance of Jesus is the Story’s fulfillment, giving all glory to God alone. For 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 to others, 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.
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 loving acts of selfless service to others allows even children to understand and experience it.
Initially, only eleven men chose to accept the invitation that Jesus offered to all twelve who had been at His Table that evening. 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: a place of personal communion with God that Jesus makes possible for us all.
By the nurturing work then that was initiated by God the Father and fulfilled in 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. The Body is united in Oneness with God and each other at ever-deepening levels, through our remembrance of God’s perfectly written unending Story of Jesus.
from The Life of the Cross, 2020