The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
Everyone's hands move toward gaping mouths together. Mine follows. The white morsel sticks to the roof of my mouth. I chew. Swallow.
Every second Sunday this happens, yet this is the first time in three months. Cambodia kept me away from the Table.
Suddenly, I listen. Familiar words pierce me.
In the same way He took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
I hold the tiny glass in my hand. Red juice glimmers. I trace the edge with my finger and struggle to hold it steady as tears overflow the rims of my eyes. The glass blurs.
"In remembrance of Me..."
How many times have I heard those words and not remembered?
The white morsels stick to the roof of my mouth, the glimmering red juice flows down and yet my heart does not remember.
I hear, but do not listen.
What does it mean to remember?
"To recall to mind by an act or effort of memory."
The act is this sign of eating and drinking, but it can be easy to act without remembering. Remembrance takes effort. We must preach to ourselves all the while. We must recall to our minds what our Lord has done for us by an effort of memory.
I am crucified with Christ. I no longer live. Christ Himself now lives in me. By placing this tiny glass to my lips I am proclaiming that the Lord has died to cleanse me of sin and that in Him I too have died. I proclaim that I am one with Him; I take in His life through my mouth and through every pore of my body. He makes me live; without Him I am dead.
Over and over, day after day, hour after hour. Preaching. That's why we begin to grow cold away from the Word, both written and living. When we don't spend time reading and praying we begin to forget Him, and in that we forget Life.
Communion, we call it. And it brings life, because it helps us to remember, and how can we not live in it every day? Sustaining food from the Lord's Table which we receive monthly as His Body, meant to remind us that His food is available daily because He dwells within.
Cold stagnation comes from forgetting. The flame of warmth and the strong bond of love are fanned when we remember.
The tiny glass is empty now. I let my hand warm it, tears still warming my face, and I sing in a whisper:
Christ, be the center of my life, be the place I fix my eyes. Christ, be the center of my life...