“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 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.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant of my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
There have been several times in my marriage when I was tasked with making a big decision for our family. My wife and I had talked through the situation, but after all the discussion the decision was still unclear. In those moments my wife has looked at me and said, “Whatever you decide I am with you.” There are no more encouraging words for a husband to hear than, “I am with you.”
Leading a family or organization is difficult, but there are no sweeter words than to hear that the people you are leading are behind you. Jesus Christ is the head of the church. He is our leader. He is our Immanuel, our “God with us.” The most encouraging words that Jesus gives to His people is that “He is with us.” He will never leave us nor forsake us. And yet, Jesus wanted to do more than just leave us His words, but wanted to give us an experience symbolizing His ever-present communion with His people. The Lord’s Supper, also known as Communion, is an ordinance where Jesus says, “I am with you and I want you to be with me.” The Lord’s Supper is an invitation to commune with God and to commune with God’s people.
As God’s people are participating in communion, we are declaring that we are with Jesus Christ and He is with us. We are proclaiming that we are with His Words, we trust His gospel, and that we are waiting eagerly for Him to appear to finally bring us into His eternal presence. Communion is an act of faith declaring to the watching world that we are for Jesus Christ. We communicate our faith through our Communion.
As we communicate our faith by participating in Communion, others communicate their lack of faith by neglecting Communion. As baptism declares we are entering into the kingdom of God, communion declares we are remaining or abiding in the kingdom of God. Communion is our way to say to our leader, “We are with you.”
Last year a young father came to me after celebrating communion together and said, “It meant so much to my family to have the opportunity to participate in communion together with our church.” His family had been looking for a church for a number of years, and had not had the opportunity to receive communion. There was a deep longing for His family to say to God, “We are with you.” Christians long to say to God and to the world, “I am with Jesus Christ. He is my leader.”
Beloved, communion should be one of the most sacred Sundays we have as a church family. We come together and declare publicly that we are with God together. Do not neglect the Lord’s Supper, but rejoice in the invitation to commune with Jesus Christ and to express your commitment to your King that you are with Him.
image credit (http://sheribertolini.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/I-AM-with-you-rod.jpg)