I sat in church on Sunday listening to one of our pastors prepare the congregation for communion. He said the words that are so familiar to me, “do this in remembrance of me“, and I really started to think about those words in a new way.
I thought about how the disciples would have shared the passover meal together after Jesus had died, risen, and returned to heaven. They would have remembered Jesus during this meal – specifically the last one they had celebrated together, then maybe shared stories of him (He had some great stories!). Maybe it would grow quiet, they would smile a little, perhaps cry. This meal in particular would remind them of Jesus and the words He spoke to them at the last meal they shared together.
I thought about how I remember people who are no longer here. When my friend Mike died, we sang “How Great Thou Art” at his funeral, and for years I couldn’t sing that song at all, or at least not without crying. I sang that song remembering him. The wedding gift from Mike’s mom reminds me of him whenever I see it.
I thought about my Grandma Helen. Doris Day, peppermints, drinking coffee with one elbow on the table, and her laugh that still echoes from my aunts.
I thought about Pastor Stan and the great list of things that still remind me of him, some of which I expect, and some of which catch me off guard. Some make me smile and some make me ache.
And I thought about Jesus. I wasn’t at the Last Supper. I didn’t hear his last words to the disciples. But they were recorded for us, and we get to hear them every time we have communion. I know the feeling of remembering someone when you perform a task, hear a song, catch a certain scent, see a car. I know that feeling.
This is how I want to approach communion – remembering. Remembering Jesus, his sacrifice, my inadequacies, my deep need for him.