What is the best meal you’ve ever had? Nope, not Ponchos where you can eat an endless amount of questionable tacos. Not even the Brazilian Steakhouse where they carry swords of delicious assorted meats.
For every Christian…it’s Communion.
“What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt. Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of ‘remembrance’ you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.” [Eugene Peterson on 1 Corithians 11:23-26]
We all have those days, that no matter what, we can’t shake them from our memory. We remember them often.
Think about 9/11. Many of you can tell me exactly what you were doing that day. From what you were wearing, to what you ate for breakfast, to the anguish and pain you felt, to the fear, to the overwhelming desire to be with your loved ones. And the more news I hear today of the tragedy and depravity happening in our world, I can’t shake that memory from back in 2001. I remember.
How about the joyous moments? I will never forget when Jessica walked down that aisle on our wedding day. I have a weird stretchy face, but I didn’t even know I could smile so big. I remember the nervous feeling. Many of you have the same memory of your wedding day. And that is what brings me back to that phrase…NEVER LET FAMILIARITY BREED CONTEMPT.
After 10 years, Jessica and I are pretty familiar with one another. One might say, TOO familiar. So we have to work hard to not breed contempt. We have reminder. This ring on my left hand (the 4th one I have bought I might add…I have a habit of losing them). Every time I see that the dishes need to be done, I get up and help because I am reminded she said YES and walked down the aisle to me. Every time I can untangle the kids from her hair and pay a stranger $25 to make sure they stay alive so I can take her on a date, I remember. I can’t shake June 12, 2004.
Too many people shake that day from their heads. They forget that day they said I DO. And familiarity breeds contempt. And it goes bad.
It can’t happen. And that is what Communion is for the church!
It is an intentional reminder to focus on what Jesus did. Do not forget it. Don’t let it escape your memory. Remember what you were like when you were dead inside and what it felt like when He made you alive. The consistent reminders carry you to the next time you turn on your computer and face temptation. This consistent reminder will carry you next time you want to lash out at your spouse in anger. Or whatever your struggle is, Communion needs to bring you back to a reminder. Jesus was broken and His blood spilled for me, in this very moment. Greater is He than anything or anyone.