Communion

JESUS SPEAKING

            When the hour had come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.  Then he said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”  Then he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  Likewise he also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22: 14-20.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            A Covenant (or testament) is a contractual agreement between two parties.  Over 3,000 years ago, God made a contract with a Shepherd named Abraham.  In the contract, He promised Abraham many descendents.  He also promised that one of his descendents would bless the entire world.  Abraham cut off his foreskin as an acknowledgement of their agreement (a tradition that Jews still practice.)  With the arrival of Jesus Christ, God had fulfilled his contract with Abraham; he made a new contract in which His Son would die on the cross to forever reconcile sinful with a holy God.  The communal acceptance of the bread and wine was the sign that his apostles had accepted this new covenant.  They each tore a piece from a single loaf of bread, which symbolized the brokenness of his body on the cross.  They shared a single cup of wine, which symbolized the blood that would pour from his body.  This first ‘Communion,’ much like Abraham’s circumcision, was an outward expression of their inward faith.  Because they had spiritually accepted God’s contract of eternal forgiveness in their hearts, they celebrated their decision in communion.

            Kobe Bryant is one of the biggest named professional athletes on the market today.  With all of the cars, the fancy homes, and the nice clothes, it’s hard to think of him as an employee.  Yet, he receives a paycheck just like everyone else.  Right out of high school he signed a multimillion dollar contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.  A few years later when his contract was up, it became necessary to make a new contract with him, or risk losing him to another team.  And yet again in 2010, when his contract had come to an end, he signed a 3 year deal worth tens of millions of dollars.  Some day even this contract will expire.

            Unlike Mr. Bryant’s contract, God’s new contract has no expiration date; faith in Jesus is the signature that establishes an eternal relationship between God and the believer.  Communion is the outward expression of that inward faith.  The Jersey Mr. Bryant Dawned after signing his contract was a public expression of his covenant with the Lakers.  Christian communion is a display of our covenant with God.  We become one as we collectively partake in the body and blood.  If you believe in Christ and have not taken communion, pray that God will bring you to a gathering where you may share in the sacrifice of our Lord.

            “Lord, may we put our faith in You.  May our hearts be united as one with other believers around the world.  We acknowledge your sacrifice upon the cross, and we accept the terms of Your new covenant; we thank You Lord for Your act of charity and love, and we look forward to our future time, when we can finally share a meal with You in Your coming kingdom.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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