During this weekend’s services, worship leader Tim Martin shared these reflections on communion:
The significance of what is happening in the act of communion is something we can’t afford to miss. This is because communion is well described as the ultimate act and sign of re-engaging with God.
But it can prove impossible to capture the depth of meaningcontained in this one act. And it can be harder still to feel the sense of intimate connection and belonging embodied in this sacrament as we participate in a large group in a public space like this.
And yet mysteriously, somehow this participation together with a diverse community, this broad and open invitation, is the perfect manifestation of the act of communion. While it is intimate and representative of our belonging, it is at the same time an open invitation.
To understand this, it can help to picture the original Last Supper historically:
We see Jesus at a cramped table in the small upper room of a house,surrounded by his closest followers and companions. They have been invited to share together in an important meal. It is the most intimate group setting of their culture; to sit at a common table, sharing a meal. More yet, this meal is on the eve of Jesus’ arrest anddeath, the last meal he will share before the cross, and it is Passovertime; the most important holiday. And this meal is already pregnant with significance.
This Seder meal is now revealed by Jesus to be the representation ofHis fulfillment of humanity’s and creation’s need of redemption, healing, and significance.
But it is also His invitation and commission to His followers to engage with Him at a new level. To sit next to Him at the table and gaze into His eyes unashamed. He is asking them to share in all thatis His, both in dying to self in self-giving love, and in coming alive to take hold of the spiritual inheritance of freedom offered through His coming victory.
As He offered the bread and the wine, He offered Himself to them; the true Passover Lamb, the only perfect acceptable substitute. Andthe offer was also full of invitation. An offer to engage with what He truly came to bring, rather than a false stand-in or lesser hope; His body and blood broken and poured out for the healing and redeeming of the world, and an call to partner with Him in that true kingdom reality of grace and life coming about. It was a call to share in His work and victory and a new level of understanding, of intimacy, of buy-in, of ownership.
What Jesus initiated at the Last Supper and commissioned for His followers to continue wherever they gathered, was an offer to re-engage, an invitation to walk deeper into the true, abundant life Heheld in Himself.
It was a visible sign of a mysterious and wonderful reality; Creator God made flesh, giving Himself to the fullest extent as a living open invitation to all to engage again with Him; to hear His voice, hold His gaze and then to know that He is good and that the true safety and ultimate reality lie in all-in communion with Him.