Psalm of Praise: Psalms 118:1-4
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Let Israel say: "His love endures forever."
Let the house of Aaron say: "His love endures forever."
Let those who fear the Lord say: "His love endures forever."
Bible Reading: Luke 22:14-16, 19-20
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God."
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
"This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
We recently enjoyed a great Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings! Yes, it was February, but we had frozen some turkey from Christmas Day so we decided to treat ourselves and remember family times together.
Our daughter, Anna, loved Christmas dinner, she also loved Key Lime Pie. Anna died in 2014 and so, at Christmas we had Key Lime Pie, in memory of her. We also had a chocolate Pavlova, a favourite of a friend of Rachel’s who had died during the year. It is good to remember, and meals very often evoke memories of different people.
On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus met with his disciples to celebrate the Passover where they would have eaten an elaborate meal of lamb, an egg, bitter herbs, a sweet paste and unleavened bread; all with special significance.
It was here, with the words, ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper or, as it is often known, the Eucharist or Communion Service. And yet, even though Jesus was to become the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our salvation, it wasn’t the lamb that he took as a reminder, but the bread and the wine. The bread to remind us of his body given for us that we might have life; the wine to remind us of his blood poured for us that we might be forgiven.
As I reflect on this it seems that Jesus is asking us to remember him in the simple things, the ordinary, every-day things of life. The first Christians wouldn’t have such an elaborate meal as the Passover every day, but they would eat bread and drink wine every day. This to me feels less like a religious service and more like a daily reminder of the presence of Jesus, with us always.
We celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus with the bread and wine of communion, let us also remember his presence with us in the simple food we share with family and friends. Maybe in the bread. Maybe in the wine. Maybe as we say grace.
Lord Jesus, remind me of your presence in the simple things of life, and may that reminder transform my life today.
Here is bread, here is wine.