23 … On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” 25In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. – 1 Corinthians 24:23b-26
This past Sunday was a communion Sunday in our church. Holy communion, one of the two sacraments in our Wesleyan/Methodist tradition, is a means of grace where we experience God’s amazing grace in ways that are hard to explain. In our church we use the intinction method of communion, where each person receives a piece of bread and then dips the bread in grape juice. This movement is accompanied with the following statements: “The body of Christ given for you” and “the blood of Christ shed for you.”
Communion is a powerful reminder of God’s unconditional love for us and his call to repent and believe the good news of Jesus Christ. Every time I serve communion I am reminded of our frailty and our desperate need for God’s grace.
Hardly a communion Sunday goes by where someone doesn’t completely mess up the simple act of receiving a piece of bread and dipping it in grape juice. They eat the bread before they are supposed to (and then try to take a big swig of juice), or they drop the bread in the cup (and then stand there completely dumbfounded as what to do next). I even had a child dip her entire hand in the grape juice (her mom was horrified). Some times I have to hold back bursting out in laughter at the way people mess up communion, but then I’m moved to tears when I think about what an incredible picture communion is of our God’s love and grace for us, his fallen precious creation.
Every time I serve communion I’m reminded of the fullness of God’s grace, His love, and His promise to always be with His people. It’s a reminder that God has been pursuing me long before I knew Him and that His grace continues to work in my life to make me more Christlike.
As a Wesleyan, I love the fact that I can look at each person I serve in the eye with confidence and say, without reservation, “The body of Christ given for you” and “The blood of Christ shed for you.” The sacrament of communion is a powerful reminder that no matter the person’s background, race, age, gender, what they’ve done or haven’t done I can say to them with confidence, “God loves you!”
As a youth minister, whenever I serve communion I’m reminded of the powerful truth that God is at work in every single young person that I encounter during the week; whether it’s during youth group, a ministry event, or a school visitation. I’m reminded that His grace is at work in their lives, and it does not matter whether they are running away from Jesus, just going through the motions with Jesus, or passionately seeking Jesus, I can look at them in the eyes and confidently say “God loves you, repent and believe the good news of Jesus Christ.”
“The body of Christ given for you”
“The blood of Christ shed for you”
“Repent and believe the good news of Jesus Christ”
This is a foundational truth worth remembering.