Thursday 14 April 2022

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (v. 26)

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 Thursday 14 April 2022

Psalm 116


Today is Maundy Thursday when, on the slow walk to the Cross, so much seemed to happen for Jesus and the disciples. As they gathered to celebrate the Passover feast, Jesus became as a servant to his disciples and washed their feet – challenging them to emulate this radical expression of discipleship in similar acts of loving service.

Around the festal table, he identified himself with the sacrifice that the bread and the wine point towards, and told them to repeat the action, proclaiming his death until he returns. It was the meal that united Jesus and the disciples with the story of God’s mighty acts of salvation in history. It was the meal that united Jesus and the disciples with the story of God’s mighty act of salvation that was their present reality, in Christ, on the Cross. It was the meal which would forever become the symbol of belief and betrayal as, departing that place, the drama of the night unfolded.

In this upper room, in which friends met and from which the betrayer (the disciple Judas) left to do his work, is located the place of gathering up and gathering in of the stuff of the Kingdom. We are commanded to eat bread and drink wine in memory of him. When Paul writes to the Corinthians, he is using a concept of memory which is distinctively more than mere recollection or memorial. In Paul’s understanding, in telling the story to the Corinthians, so it becomes their story. They remember the story in a way that ties their own lives into it in a transforming and illuminating way. In remembering, they are 're-membering', putting back together and living again the events of which they speak. As it was for the Jews in re-membering the Passover, so it is for the Christians at the Lord’s Table, re-membering, living again, the events of that night.

Whenever we, as Christian men and women, gather around the table of communion, we are re-membering, living again the events of that night and that place. We stand around that table with all who have ever stood around that and similar tables, mystically united with the saints of every age and place. Proclaiming the Lord’s death (and Resurrection) until he comes.


To Ponder:

  • When you take part in a communion service, do you recognise the transforming and re-membering ideas written about in today’s material? Does it make you feel that you are engaging in something bigger than yourself?
  • What can the Church do to help people see this bigger picture and recognise that the service of Holy Communion has so many different facets?
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