The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
I saw this leaf on a walk the other day. I was struck by the brightness (amplified by a bit of photo editing) of the single red leaf in contrast to the grey-ness of the pavement. As I stopped to look (and of course take a picture), it reminded me of a walk I took with my kids a few weeks ago where my daughter and I were looking over the edge of a bridge into the stream and saw a single red leaf floating there amongst many other brown and yellow leaves. From there it went to several more memories – one moving into another…each one bringing back a feeling, an experience, and more memories. Even though this passage doesn’t have the language used in the other Gospels about Communion – “Do this in remembrance of me” – it is still a connection to the memories I have of the many times I have shared this meal that Jesus first began at the table in this passage. I remember the receiving of the Eucharist around the communion rail in the Lutheran Church growing up (and the blessings of the pastors before I took my first communion). I remember times of sharing the Lord’s Supper on college ministry retreats where the presence of the Spirit was more palpable than I have ever experienced before. I remember sharing communion with my team in Belize in 1993 where the juice was grape kool-aid because that’s all we could get at the market. I remember the incredible times of worship in Miller Chapel and coming forward to receive communion with the seminary community. I remember the celebration of communion at our wedding as we were able to greet every person at the wedding as they came forward to the table with the words of promise and love from Jesus. I remember taking communion to many many people in hospitals and nursing homes and seeing the ways that God works through a simple piece of bread and a cup of juice. I remember the first and last times of sharing communion with my former congregation in SD and the many times that we have shared it together here in Ohio. I remember.