On Feb. 2, Pastor Jim preaches on 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
What’s all this talk about eating flesh and drinking blood? No wonder the early Christians were accused of being cannibals. Way back in the 2nd century, Athenagoras—a defender of the Christian faith—wrote a treatise titled “Plea for the Christians.” When certain Romans made such accusations, Athenagoras countered with: “…you cannot eat human flesh unless you have killed someone.” He went on to discuss how Christians abhor all forms of murder, including, incidentally, gladiatorial contests. Yet the accusations continued. In the absence of information, we hallucinate.
For us, Holy Communion reminds us of the sacrifice Jesus made for us to demonstrate the ferocious love of God. He wanted something tangible to remind us of what happened and who we are. It’s a sacrament, which simply means that it’s a time and place where Jesus promised to show up.
Notice how he didn’t lift up a dish of caviar. No, he used bread. Wine was as common in Israel as iced tea is in Texas. Due to occasionally sketchy water, people often drank wine. He used common everyday items as reminders.
I hope to see you this Sunday at the Lord’s table. Everybody is welcome.