“23 For this is what the Lord himself said, and I pass it on to you just as I received it. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 1 Corinthians 11:23-24
Growing up I remember the tags on Christmas presents very well. In my house they were always the ones that had “To:” and “From:” printed on them. The person wrapping the gift would choose an appropriate sticker/tag and write who it was to and then who it was from. I absolutely loved those stickers when I was a kid. My love for them was not because it allowed for me to clearly identify to whom I was giving a gift. No! I loved those stickers because they clearly identified for me what gifts I would be receiving. I would go through each year and look at all the tags and count up how many were for me. I wanted to know exactly how many of those gifts would be given to me on Christmas morning.
It is a little ironic for me that the three words in the title of this article are words Jesus used when instituting this remembrance of himself in Holy Eucharist (Communion). Jesus said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Those three words have been prominent in my understanding of Holy Communion, since becoming a Christian. I love these three words. I understood from the beginning the incredible act of God’s grace revealed and evident in communion. This act of remembrance is given for me so that I can participate in Christ as a part of Christ’s body, the church. It is nothing that I have done, nothing I could earn, nothing of which I am even deserving. It is given for me. What beautiful words.
These are important and beautiful words because they indicate the manner in which communion is administered. We don’t take communion, we receive it. Communion is a gift of remembrance given for us by the one who gives us the gift. We receive the gift that has been given for us in order to remember. Jesus offered and gave his life for us. An atonement for our sins when we could not atone for them ourselves. This gift was given to us when we least deserved to receive it. Yet that is what we are called to do, receive. Every time we serve communion it is a gift that is given for you. It is an opportunity to share in Christ’s life, ministry, death, and resurrection. An opportunity to remember and to receive. After all … it is given for you.
I hope you will join us in church this Sunday as we receive the gift given to us. See you in church.