Thursday April 14, 2022
Created by Pastor Drew Tucker
1 Corinthians 11:23–26 (NIV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
This passage is the earliest version of Jesus’ Last Supper available to us. Paul, the 1st century evangelist, wrote this letter to the church in Corinth years before any of the Gospel accounts were penned. It appears each Maundy Thursday, a name that means something like “mandate” or “command” Thursday. And surprise of surprises, the command that we encounter is a simple one. No mountains to climb. No feats of strength to accomplish. No impossibilities. Simply, “do this to remember me.” Eat this bread. Drink this wine. To remember Jesus.
It’s a bit of an odd mandate since Jesus is very present when he tells the disciples to down some snackies and remember him. Remember? Jesus is right here. We don’t need to remember the present.
But of course, Jesus anticipates a future when he is anything but present. Jesus foresees a time when his disciples can’t touch his scars, hear his force, feel his touch. And so the command to remember asks the disciples to do just that: to re-member, to bring together again the body of Christ in the meal of Christ. By remembering Jesus the communion meal, Jesus becomes presence with all who share that meal. Not just in one space, but in all spaces. Not just at one time, but at all times.
Paul, just a few years after Jesus’ death, remembers the call to recall Christ in a meal similar to the one that he shared with his disciples on the night in which he was betrayed. And so today, perhaps in the morning dawn or in a few stolen moments from the workday or after the dusk settles, we’ll gather again at a different table, with different kinds of bread and different sorts wine, all to remember the same savior. The same one Paul remember 2,000 years ago. The same one present with us at our baptisms. The same one who speaks a word of challenge to the authorities of this world and a word of comfort to those on the margins of today’s societies. In this meal, we share in the presence of Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and yet is always making things news new, each and every day.
God of Abundance, remind us to remember you not only in our holy rituals, but in our daily meals. Make your sacred self known in the mundane realities of our lives. Amen.