Column: Negotiating Communion

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“… do this in remembrance of me.” – Jesus to the Disciples at the Last Supper , Luke 22:19.

In life, we want the best deal.

Even in church, most of the time we’re still looking for the best deal – salvation, comfort, spiritual uplift, a good sermon, entertaining music, fellowship, whatever it may be.  We are seeking something bigger than ourselves – something that both gives our lives deeper meaning and the means to express it. Church is the marketplace where we shop for it. We pray to God for the best spiritual deal.

Obtaining the best deal requires judgment, discernment and calculation. Naturally, we have to have some idea of what we want; it is impossible to negotiate when we don’t.  We must have a sense of the value we are seeking, and the willingness and savvy to negotiate terms to our best advantage.

God presented mankind with a “deal” 2,000 years ago that made absolutely no sense, had absolutely no precedent, was absolutely unexpected, and was absolutely non-negotiable. By the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, God reversed the curse of death, brought fallen, sinful mankind back into heavenly, eternal fellowship at His side, unexpectedly fulfilled 2,000-plus-years of prophecy and covenant in the process, and hung His New Covenant on our faith that Jesus is the prophesied Christ, the Son of the living God, trusting Him as Lord and Savior.

Four different places in the New Testament – Matthew 26:26-29, Luke 22:17-22, Mark 15:22-24 and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 – tell us specifically that the symbol of this New Covenant, this new deal, is the body (bread) and blood (wine) of Jesus Christ.  We share in the grace, mercy, love, hope, faithfulness, fellowship, joy, freedom, comfort and peace of our Lord Jesus by sharing in Holy Communion.

Communion is the central purpose of Christian worship. We see the communion of the Trinity, share in the communion of church fellowship, and recognize our communion with God through the body and blood of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ.

Churches celebrate Holy Communion – the Eucharist – with different lexicons, liturgies, doctrines and frequencies.  But always with the bread and cup, always with prayer, and almost always with the words of Jesus at the last supper as he broke the bread and passed the wine, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

God has already given us the “best deal” divinely imaginable – the sacrifice of His son Jesus for our sins.  We are wise to honor that and not use communion prayer to negotiate our own idea of our best deal with God.

We must remember with thanks the deal we already have.

Walters (rlwcom@aol.com) reminds all that salvation is not really a “deal,” it’s a divine gift. 


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