I was going to write about Morality and Ethics in the season ender of Doctor Who for today…but as I thought about the show I actually was drawn to write about something else…something a bit more serious. The show really did bring this to mind, with the Holy Spirit’s help I believe…remember I’m a fan of being on the look out for the “sacred” in the “secular.” One of the scenes in the Doctor Who finale involved a character pledging to remember the Doctor, and honor his memory…to carry it on in a way, as the Doctor is about his business.
Within Christianity, in the act of communion; the taking of the bread and wine, we are to remember Christ at His own command. He makes it into an imperative; do this in remembrance of Me. We know how serious this is, as Paul underlines the fact that we need to partake in a worthy manner. As I explained in a previous post, this verse has been misconstrued by different preachers to mean that we as humans must be worthy to partake; not so. See my previous post here for more detail on that: Communion; Unworthily vs. unworthy.
Paul also teaches: 1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. And that verse is what struck me as I mulled this over. I realized an important point; we are not just showing the Lord’s death to our fellow humans, though that is important too. There are others watching as well; the holy Angels, the fallen angels, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; God Himself.
Communion is one of the ways we communicate and act on our faith…think of it from Jesus’ point-of-view in the limited way that we can. We partake to remember Him, to Honor Him, and to show Him. While we partake the object of our remembrance and honor is right there with us, as He always is. But think how He must feel amongst us as we do so!
I don’t know about you, but as I read about the time when Jesus went to pray and asked Peter, James, and Mark to stay and watch and they fell asleep as He prayed. I have to admit I ask myself, “would I have been able to stay awake in the same situation?” Jesus wanted their company, and asked them to come, yet they fell asleep in an hour when He did not wish to be alone.
He’s asked us to partake of bread and wine…and I think it gladdens His heart when we actually do so with our focus on Him…when we stay “awake.” Again, I don’t believe one must take communion in a group, or even in a church (that is another post for another time), but I think it is fascinating to dwell on the fact that even if one is alone in their house partaking, they are still showing Him forth, and also fulfilling Christ’s command. We are also showing Him forth to ourselves; it helps us to remember Him, and increases our faith because it is an act of faith.
I don’t mean it in the “presenting the sacrifice to God” as the Roman church teaches; far from it…I’ve always found that a bit arrogant; the High Priest Himself is who offered up The Sacrifice, and it was only done once, and only had to be done once. No, we are showing forth, not offering up. But, think about us, we enjoy it when someone remembers something hard that we have done for someone else, and that feeling of joy and acknowledgment surely is no sin. We are remembering Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that were for us, to save us, to redeem us. His body broken in horrible ways symbolized by the broken bread, and His blood shed for us, for the remission of our sin symbolized by the wine. When we remember, honor, and show Him forth, surely that makes Him glad of the remembrance…in fact, think of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit looking on.
This same idea would hold true for baptism as well…we should not forget that while our fellow humans can be present, our audience is not limited to them. This idea should also raise within us the awareness that these things are not light matters; they are very serious indeed. This ties in to a post that I need to write soon; home communion and the fact that you can partake in your home even if you don’t attend an organizational church. We should not allow that fact to stop us from showing forth Christ, and following His command that we partake in remembrance.