We’re looking at scriptures related to the Building Blocks, spiritual practices we can adapt and use to “practice the presence of Christ.” Read more info about the blocks, or download the Soul Care Plan. Today’s Block is “W” for worship.
My thoughts (Brenda Corbello):
This has been a difficult passage to write about for me. That may seem odd if you know me, because I regularly participate in worship services and partake in communion. But for me, this passage holds a great deal of significance with regard to the common rituals found in many Christian churches.
I am not particularly attached to rituals. But this ritual is one of the ways we remind ourselves of exactly what it is we share in common, this belief that Jesus was sacrificed for our sins. Whether I believe that this is a literal occurrence, or a metaphor for something divine does not really change the significance of what is being celebrated.
There are many lessons we can learn during a sermon on any given Sunday. We may hear a lesson on forgiveness, or maybe a sermon about generosity. We may learn some history of Biblical times, or maybe learn about some character that is not familiar to us. But regardless of what we may reflect upon during the sermon, at our church we are always brought back to the same place at the end of the sermon. The sharing of communion is a special ritual.
We collectively remind ourselves that we are welcome, we are forgiven, and we are loved. We take this time to remember the story of that fateful evening when Christ surrendered to the authorities, knowing full well what was to become of him.
But when I read the passage, I do not sense any remorse on his part during this dinner with friends. I believe that Jesus wanted them to understand the significance of what was happening. He wanted them to have a chance to say what they needed to say. Sometimes it is just important to make sure that we have the opportunity to show each other how we feel about each other. There are so many times when we do not know that this is the last time that we will see our loved ones alive. There are so many times when we wish that we could have told them how much we love them. I believe that the significance of this dinner is not to be minimized.
I see such kindness on the part of Jesus. Although some very painful things were about to happen, he wanted the Disciples to understand that he gladly gave his life. He also wanted them to have this ritual that would remind them of how much he loves them.
We carry on this tradition so that we can all be reminded of how much Jesus loves us — all of us. Worship services can take many forms, but I do not believe that we can ever partake in the communion ceremony without a real sense of worship. We take this time to pray with one another, and share in the body and blood of Christ.
Thought for the day: God, let me always approach the communion ceremony with humility and thankfulness for what it represents, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ that was sacrificed for the forgiveness of my sins.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.