every first wednesday and sunday of the month, my church does communion. now, many of you may know that i am part of the worship team, therefore i get to participate in a plethora of these services, as we have multiple meeting times on sundays. that being said, i have a lot to think about during each time i see and experience this most wonderful representation and remembrance of what Jesus did once for all. watching the faces of the repentant, acutely aware of a sacrifice of which we are all unworthy. a beautiful sight to behold no doubt. the communion example is recorded a handful of times within the gospels, but my favorite was logged by luke.
we see this gathering of devoted, radical men took place during passover. a time at which the jews celebrate the angel of death "passing over" the jewish nation in egypt and subsequent exodus. i believe our Lord to be extremely strategic and at this instance, He shows that clearly. He picked a time of the year where the nation of Israel is remembering a time where God's mercy was incomprehensible and His plan unforgettable. a time when death passed over a nation...not because they deserved it, but because He's a man of His Word. how quickly i forget that sacrifice and that i too am passed over.
however, many of you may not know that the wine and bread scenario was not something foreign to this jewish brigade of brigands. but they have tasted and seen this "tradition" every friday at sundown of their lives. you see, every shabbat (or sabbath) the observant jewish household is called to rest because of the fourth commandment. and by this, God mapped out how to begin this time of observance. the mother would say a blessing over the house as she lit the candles, the father would say the blessing over the wine, and then say a blessing over the bread. this time is something that looks much like our communion tradition today, however on the "original" communion day, Jesus had another idea. He skillfully took His beloved disciples through a time that they were very familiar with. the blessing of the wine and bread. the passover. the sabbath. yet, what He was showing (and what we oftentimes miss in our communion services) is that He was showing us the new covenant in a deep, meaningful way. breathing life into this type and shadow. He was taking something old and familiar and making it have a story far beyond the sabbath blessing. He was showing how He was going to redeem the World...taking from the old and making it new. or a better version of the Old. He was also saying as I redeem what's old, remember to Rest. for that is why He died. that is why He allowed us to be passed over. that is why He lives today. that we may rest in Him forever.
my friends, remember that our Lord is a Redeemer. remember that He takes from the old and makes it new. remember that He calls us to rest. not in what we can establish or figure out or create. but in His shadow.
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha'olam...