“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you…”
With these words, Paul is explaining to the early Christians in Corinth something of primary importance for life and faith: the Lord’s supper.
The Hebrew context here is crucial. Jesus didn’t choose his elements at random. He ordained this sacramental meal for the Church from that time until today in the context of Covenant.
Through the history of God’s people recorded across the entire biblical narrative, a pattern emerges. God makes promises. And people fail to remember (see Hosea 11:1-2 for how God perceives our forgetfulness).
It is no wonder then that when Jesus introduced the bread and the cup as the new covenant in his body and blood, he commanded that we “Remember.”
Of course, remembering that for which Jesus died — the forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to God — also (ironically) means we can forget. We can forget the sins that so easily ensnare, and celebrate the liberation Christ won for us! After all, God in his omniscience is described as effectively “forgetting” that which has led us astray and embracing us, whom he loves so dearly (see the story of the lost son for a powerful image of this).
We come together as the Christ-community and express his love in many ways: worship, song, prayer, learning, serving, laughing, crying. When we gather as the Christ-community, we enact that for which the Lord’s Supper stands. We are doing this in remembrance of Him.
- Have you ever experienced the Lord’s Supper (a.k.a. Communion or the Eucharist)? What was your experience like?
- Have you ever forgotten something that you knew you should have remembered?
- When someone in our close community forgets something important (like a birthday) what is that experience like? Why?
- Some people think ceremony or tradition is superficial or unnecessary in a community. But Jesus clearly knew that ceremony was essential. What do you think?
- What intentional steps can you take this week to “Remember” Jesus’ good news each day?