WHAT IS COMMUNION? (by BEC member Andrea Atkinson)
As time goes by, this service becomes more and more precious to me. I was wondering what made it so special and I think there are several reasons:
Firstly, It was instituted by Christ himself on the night He was betrayed. You could think of it as His last request: “Do this in remembrance of me”
Luke 22:19-20 says, “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’.” New International Version
And since that night, generations of Christians of all traditions down through the centuries have taken bread and wine and remembered the Saviour, just as He asked us to. It is a time set aside in a busy week where we simply remember Jesus. This is not a prayer meeting. We leave our personal worries outside the door. We don’t come with petitions or requests: we simply come to remember and to worship.
Sometimes in our service we emphasise different aspects of Christ: His great love for us in giving up Heaven’s splendour and laying down His life for us; or we marvel at His grace in pouring out on us all the blessings we don’t deserve. Some weeks we centre on the cross and remember all that He endured to bring us forgiveness and salvation. We may think of Him as God’s perfect sacrificial Lamb: “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. Other times we think of the person and character of Christ: His Majesty, His Glory, His Splendour.
But whatever aspect we concentrate on, Jesus Christ is central. He must be central. We come to offer our thanks, our praise, our wonder and our worship. We do this in our prayers, both silent and spoken, shared thoughts on relevant Scripture passages, or in hymns of praise.
And we get a glimpse of Heaven as we join in the angels’ song:
John writes in Revelation 5 :11-14:New International Version
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise! Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power for ever and ever. ‘The four living creatures said ‘Amen’ and the elders fell down and worshipped.”
As we add our voices to that heavenly throng we praise and worship our Saviour and our Lord. And as we take the bread and wine, we remember Him.