Do This In Remembrance Of Me
This last year we lost my husbands grandmother. She was a strong woman. Strong in mind, spirit and faith. She was also a wonderful cook. One of our favorite things she made is her caramel pound cake. My son loves this cake! He and I are going to attempt to make it for Thanksgiving. I can promise you that when we sit down to eat a piece, our hearts will be full of love and our minds will be full of memories of her. Even now, just thinking about it, tears slip down my cheeks. I’m guessing that you may have a similar experience about someone you have loved and lost. Today I want to present to you an idea. Perhaps it is a new way of looking at an old tradition.
Matthew 26:26-28 “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it, broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take; eat; this is my body.” and he took a cup, and when he had given thanks gave it to them, saying “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
In scripture all through the Bible, we see that Jesus used parables, which are analogies, to help explain to people the meaning of what he was trying to teach. At his last meal with his disciples, this was no different. It was his last opportunity to teach them. He was about to willingly be taken into custody, where he would be humiliated, beaten and ultimately be killed for all of mankind. The law was about to be abolished and a new covenant established. No longer would we be accountable to laws that we could not possibly consistently follow with perfection. Jesus taught us that in this new covenant life, God looks not just to our actions, but looks beyond them, to our heart. Which in theory makes it even harder to obtain perfection, but God had a plan. He offers the sacrifice of Jesus in our place. Jesus becomes the sacrifice and payment for our mistakes, bad choices and all of our sins. Jesus ushers in a new covenant of eternal life and forgiveness of sins through grace. Grace is a wonderful thing! To be forgiven by His amazing grace makes my heart burst with overwhelming gratitude. So much gratitude, that I want to spend the rest of my life worshiping Him and trying my best to live each day the way He taught us; loving God, loving others and trying to live righteously (in right standing with God) in honor of his sacrifice for me.
I would like to take a moment to say to each of you, that if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior and experienced this new covenant life with Him, to think about it. Examine your life and this freely given gift that is offered through Jesus. It isn’t like the old law where we are condemned because we can’t possibly measure up. This new covenant life through Jesus is full of love, freedom and hope, because of the amazing grace of forgiveness.
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Let me take you back to the table where Jesus sat with those he loved, to share a meal together. They sit down to eat good food and drink good wine and have fellowship together. He picks up the bread and blesses it and breaks it, and passes it around the table for everyone to have some and he says this bread is like my body, which is broken for you. (He was called the Bread of Life in John 6:32) He blesses the wine and pours it in the cups and passes them out to everyone. Many times in scripture he used the analogy of a vineyard, a vine or fruit of the vine. He even refers to God as the Vinedresser. (There is a LOT of teaching that can come from looking at the process of making wine) So, as he passes out the wine, he says, this wine is like my blood, that is poured out for the forgiveness of sin. It is an analogy of what is about to happen. Then sitting at the table, sharing this meal in fellowship with those he loved, he says to them, “Do this in remembrance of Me” because he knows that He won’t be there for their next meal or any others, until they meet him in heaven.
I have grown up in church having communion. We even occasionally have it at home when we gather with family for the holidays. We have the unleavened bread and wine or grape juice for those that prefer it. I love this tradition. I think that it is nice and important to do. However, I don’t think it has to be done just in this way. I think Jesus meant that anytime you come together in fellowship and share a meal, and partake of bread and wine (or whatever you prefer) that you let it jog your memory and you remember the sacrifice and the gift he has given, but not just that…. but also the fellowship with him and each other. Think about it. What is the “Great Commission?” Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” I believe God wants us to come together in fellowship with one another, and when we partake of bread, remember that He is the Bread of Life, and when we pour a glass wine (or whatever) to remember that he poured out his blood for us. Just like I am going to have that piece of cake that Mamaw Peak use to make and remember her, I think that is what He was talking about. Each time we do these things, He wants us to remember Him, with our hearts full of love and thankfulness.
So this holiday season and beyond, let us all gather with our loved ones and break bread together and fellowship with one another, with thanksgiving in our hearts as we do this in remembrance of Him.
In this next video someone sings Amazing Grace. They are not the greatest singer of all time, but just a person, imperfect, singing it the best they can with a grateful heart. I chose these versions on purpose. This is all the more poignant as I am reminded that I too am imperfect and saved by grace.