Do You Remember?
This last weekend many people were remembering Whitney Houston, a great singer whose life ended abruptly. Here at Warner Pacific we also remembered some people who have ended or are ending their college playing days. On Saturday we had Senior Night to honor our graduating players and we also inducted our first Hall of Honor class in the school’s history. God knows we have a tendency to forget things, and He warned Israel about that tendency as they prepared to enter the Promised Land through the words of Moses.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9
We post plaques with stats, hang jerseys up, and banners on our walls and entryways to remember great sports accomplishments. In the New Testament Jesus institutes The Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of Him. (Luke 22:14-23, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Many times Christians look at communion or The Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist or whatever your tradition calls it as a memorial service. A memorial serves to remember what a person has done, much like people are doing with Whitney Houston. But Christ’s work on the cross, His body and blood broken and shed for us is not just something that happened; it is a work that is still interceding for us right now at the right hand of God. Christ rose from the dead and is our advocate in the present, the work of Christ on the cross continues to be active in the grace that it provides. Our Hall of Honor inductees were chosen not just because of the work that they did as athletes while they were in school, but because they are still honorable people to this day. We would not induct athletes into a Hall of Honor if they were not living a life consistent with what the school stands for, if we did it would be a Hall of Fame, not a Hall of Honor.
The last verse of the communion passage in 1 Corinthians ends with the phrase, “until He comes” which means this remembrance is to be done in light of Christ’s return. There is a future hope attached to this practice, something we should look forward to with anticipation. Imagine if our Hall of Honor inductees could come back and play for our teams today! The first question would be how much they could contribute given that their athletic ability may have declined over the years, but what if they were able to come back in their prime? This would be an exciting thing; you would have some great talent to add to the current rosters. Well, we know that is not possible, but we also know that Christ is promised to return in all of His glory and splendor. This is something to be celebrated in the practice of communion. Christ’s work assured the victory over sin and death and the future coming of His kingdom.
So we see that communion is not just a solemn memorial of Christ’s death on the cross, but a celebration of what He has done, is doing, and is going to do. May we proclaim those aspects of the Lord’s work until He comes!