A reflection on Communion for Maundy Thursday

Of any day of the year, today is the day to have some special reflection on Communion.  Today is the day before Good Friday -- that is, it's Maundy Thursday, the day we commemorate the Last Supper. That's the evening Communion started.


For reflection, I offer you two words today to describe what Communion is: miracle meal.

It is a miracle because Jesus meets us in a mysterious way in Communion. It's not just a religious practice to jog your memory about the Jesus story. Nor is it merely your own private, special prayer time.

Some of Paul's thoughts about Communion are conveyed in 1 Cor 10-11. It is a time of sharing in the body and blood of Christ, and Christ is present in such a way that people can come under judgment by disrespecting Communion. I think it's remarkable that Paul doesn't talk like this about anything else the church does. There's something special about Communion.

I conclude that Communion is a miracle, when King Jesus is present, and the veil between heaven and earth becomes especially thin. We do well to come to Communion with both familiarity and awe.

Communion is also a meal. It is bread and juice/wine from the earth. When we take Communion, we chew the bread and sip the juice (or wine). Communion has a taste and a texture.

Communion shows that God's kingdom is rooted in the real world. We take Communion at church, but we live it out every day. It roots us in holy physicality. We express our faith in the body or not at all.

Mark's account of the last Supper goes like this:
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” 
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” (Mark 14:22-26)

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