“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. ‘This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many.’?” —Mark 14:22–24 (NIV)
Is the Lord’s Supper solemn or sad? In the book Living in the Kingdom by Dr. Alvin Rogness, he says it is a serious meal when we come with our sins to have them forgiven. It should not be a sad affair because we receive forgiveness of our sins and are drawn into Communion with the Lord. The Lord is our source of deepest joy.
I experienced the meaning of those three words when my father died in 1988 and again when my mother died in 2001. At my dad’s deathbed my mom, both of my brothers and I received Communion. My dad was not responding, but he knew what was going on. He was able to take the bread and sip the wine. The same was true when Mom was on her deathbed. She, my brothers and I were given Communion. In fact, she was able to verbalize to the vicar, my aunt and me what she wanted to wear for the funeral and the scripture and songs that she wanted at her victory party.
When my parents died, I was sad, very sad. After taking Communion with my family, I had a warm fuzzy feeling inside my heart, as if I was on a beautiful pillow of soft clouds resting in peace and great joy. I felt like I wanted to yell off the rooftops. What a wonderful feeling! The Lord’s Supper is like melodies within a great symphony.
It is not the eating and drinking that gives us forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. It’s the words “given and shed for you for the remission of sins.” These words, along with eating and drinking are the main thing in the sacrament. And whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: forgiveness of sins.
Father, thank you for your ever presence. It is wonderful to experience the Lord’s Supper and know that through the words “given” and “shed” we are forgiven of our sins.