The Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
“Do this in remembrance of me.” (v.24) RSV
When we remember Jesus each time we take the bread and the wine there are, I believe, three things in particular that we can ‘remember’. The first is the life and death of Jesus in the past. The second is the life and strength of Jesus in the present. And the third is the life and return of Jesus in the future. So today’s ‘trinity’ is the past, the present and the future.
The Bread and Wine help us remember our Lord who went about in Israel “doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil”. (Acts 10:38) We remember his love and death, his resurrection and his ascension. In every way, we are drawn to praise and thanksgiving for such a live lived and sacrificed for us. We remember that as a result, our sins are forgiven and new life has been received.
Then secondly, we remember that the risen Christ is present with us right now. He not only lives in heaven to intercede for us, but he also comes to us through the Holy Spirit to be with us. He strengthens and guides us through daily life. He is our breath, our joy and our constant companion. He promised that he would never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
Finally, we remember that we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (v.26). In this life we are sojourners; we are passing through. As the song goes, ‘This world is not my own; I’m just a passing through’. Of course we love this beautiful world that God has made and we seek to bless it in every way. Yet, always in our sights there lies that vision of all things made new: a new heaven and a new earth. One day Jesus will return, banish evil and create a united heaven and earth. “Even so, come Lord Jesus”. (Revelations 22:20)
Heavenly Father, thank you that the Last Supper (Holy Communion) speaks of the wonders of Jesus; such a Saviour. Help me to remember his life in the past, the present and the future each time I eat and drink. Amen.
See Matthew’s emphasis on the past and Luke’s emphasis on the future.
Matthew 26:27-28, Luke 22:17-18