Holy Week starts today with Palm Sunday and I’m reflecting on the meaning of Holy Eucharist (Communion). We remember Christ’s life, death and resurrection, strengthening our union with Him as we celebrate Eucharist daily at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville.
As we partake in Jesus’ body and blood in the bread and wine, it is the closest we can humanly be to being one with God. He gave His son for our sins, and this is our reminder of the sacrifice that God made for us. Can you imagine what the disciples must have felt like as they witnessed The Last Supper? I doubt they had any true concept of the significance of the miracle before them.
1 Corinthians 11:24-25 Jesus says, “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Communion has a special meaning for me; it is a symbol of Christ’s forgiveness for me. As I approach the altar rail, I hold my sins in my hands. I must empty my hands of all my sins before they are free to receive the bread. If I go burdened with my sins and don’t release them, there isn’t room for the bread in my hands. I drink from the cup and as I swallow, the warmth of the wine fills my heart, and then I hear the words, “My daughter, you are forgiven.”
I hear, “You are forgiven,” not once, not twice, but every time I receive the bread and wine.
Maybe you don’t need to hear of God’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy every day like I do. The bread and wine are tangible evidence that I am forgiven over, and over, and over again.
I long for the Holy Eucharist. Many times it is all that has saved me: the outward and visible sign of God’s forgiveness, mercy, and love for us.