And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. (Luke 22:14-23)
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
Yesterday as mum and I were sitting down to have our lunch together we switched on the radio to give us some background music while we were eating. The only problem was that I had forgotten that the radio had somehow lost the station we usually listen to and so needed to be re-tuned. This meant that rather than the rather gentle music we were expecting to hear, something not quite to our tastes came out. As I had already dished out our food I decided to quickly go and grab a CD to put on rather than waste time trying to get the station that we wanted. I went to where mum has her CD collection and pulled out a CD which I thought would be suitable listening over lunch.
The CD was called ‘Great Tenors of our Time’. What I didn’t appreciate, until the CD started to play, was that the time being referred to was not the current time, but a time gone by. The CD comprised digitally remastered recordings of records that had been made well over 70 years ago. To me they meant nothing, but to my mum they instantly took her back to her childhood and to memories of her own mother, my Nanny, listening to these very recordings on the radio.
Music has the power to remind us of both people and events in our lives. Often hearing a hymn can transport you back to a time when it was used, maybe at a christening, baptism, wedding or funeral. Or it may be when you hear a song on the radio that you return in your thoughts to the age you were when you first heard it.
Jesus knew the importance of having triggers to remind us about our faith when he took the very simple act of sharing bread and wine with friends and used it as a reminder of the sacrifice he was willing to make for us when he died on the cross. I recollect being told that it was a little bit like Jesus saying that every time you drink a cup of tea or coffee, or share a simple meal with friends or family, remember that Christ died for you. It doesn’t have to be just at a Eucharist service that we remember what Christ did for us, but it should be often, as part of our everyday experience. The more we remember what God has done for us the better.
Prayer (Matt Redman MP 995)
Jesus Christ, I think upon your sacrifice You became nothing, poured out to death Many times I've wondered at your gift of life And I'm in that place once again And once again I look upon the cross where you died I'm humbled by your mercy and I'm broken inside Once again I thank you Once again I pour out my life Amen
Song: Once Again (Matt Redman) (MP 995)