No matter what kinds of failures or struggles we bring into this moment, when we take communion we recognize that Jesus has saved you a seat at his table and invites us to sit with him.
3. Our suffering and death are not the end.
In 1 Corinthians 11:26, Paul writes, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” In other words, communion looks forward, in hope, to the world to come. And, boy, do we need that hope.
In this world, good people live with hardship. They struggle with poverty. They struggle with illness. With need. With conflict. And, in the end, we all succumb to death. But the table proclaims, “Poverty is not the end! Sickness is not the end! Conflict is not the end! Death is not the end! As surely as Jesus rose, he will return again.” Our hardship, like Jesus’ cross, is part of God’s good plan to bring salvation into the world.
4. Our church is a community of the forgiven.
Nowhere should the unity of the church be seen more profoundly than when we take communion. When holding the bread and the cup, we are reminded of our common identity—first and foremost, lost sinners who have been redeemed. For by grace we’ve all been saved, by faith, and not even that is of ourselves. It’s the gift of God; not of works, so that no man can boast.
The blood of Jesus is the only hope for the best of us and a certain hope for the worst of us. This blood destroys religious pride, classism, and racial divisions. It washes away our boasting in a beautiful flood of grace.
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
This article on when we take communion originally appeared here, and is used by permission.