Act of Communion

Act of Communion
Luke 22:14-23
Tamika Brown

“This Do In Remembrance of Me”. Many of us, at least monthly, hear this familiar verse.  And more frequently than that, we see it engraved on a table. But, let’s put a pin in that for just a moment because this passage of scripture tells us far more than that familiar refrain. It shows us that the Act of Communion is more than an act of ceremony and consumption, it is a reflection of the being of Christ. It exemplifies all that we should strive towards.

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table (v14)
This world can keep us in a constant state of agitation and busy-ness. Isn’t it amazing how even during this time Jesus was chilling? He was simply being himself. How often do we simply show up as ourselves? How often do we arrive with our guard down and our masks removed? The Act of Communion requires that we show up as our authentic selves.

And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. (v15)
Can you imagine walking into certain hard times and instead of running away or hiding you called up your friends/family and said “hey y’all let’s do brunch”? No? Neither can I! Jesus knew of the suffering to come, yet his heart - his passion, was still for the people. He still wanted to draw near. Often, when we go through things our tendency is to retreat into ourselves rather than drawing near to others. The Act of Communion though, requires us to be so passionate about God’s purpose that even when we are not at our best, we continue to seek the presence of God’s spirit that we find in those around us.

After taking the cup (and the bread) he gave thanks (v17a)
Deacon Miller wrote eloquently this week on gratitude - in all things, give thanks! Even though Jesus knew what was to come, he gave thanks. And the same should be true for you and I. Gratitude allows us to see past our current situation, it allows us to hope. The Act of Communion requires our gratitude even in the midst of a struggle or storm.

… Take this and divide it among you (v17b)
During this Passover feast, the Feast of Unleavened Bread - no person at the table was above or below, it didn’t matter what title they carried nor whether anyone was deemed more or less important. EVEN the betrayer was treated the same as all others at the table. This is an exemplar for each of us, especially in the church.

Communion is an act and a lesson. We are intended to treat one another with care and respect no matter our position in or outside of the church. Jesus was a revolutionary. Jesus believed that no matter rank, station or title - each person deserved a seat at the table. The Act of Communion requires that we love our neighbors as ourselves.

Now, let’s get back to that pin I mentioned earlier. “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (v19)

When Jesus says do this in remembrance of me, He is not talking about what kind of table it is, how the table is set or who prays over the bread and wine; heck it’s not even about the location of the table (in the church or in the streets)! In my hermeneutical imagination I believe that Jesus wanted us to DO this in remembrance - not the doing of pomp, circumstance, collars, white gloves, position or tradition.

In this remembrance, we are meant to DO as Jesus did - love mercy, walk humbly, go to the people. We are meant to BE as Jesus was - forgiving, loving, seekers of justice and truth telling for EVERYbody.

Though as the church body, the ecclesia, we may only observe the taking of bread and wine on first Sundays, individually we should practice the Act of Communion each day through our words and deeds. The Act of Communion is both a DOING and a BEING.

During this Lenten journey and each day:
  • What are you DOING in remembrance of Jesus?
  • How are you BEING in remembrance of Jesus?

Prayer: God, my God, help us DO and BE our part for your Kingdom. Amen.
Posted in , ,

No Comments