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Like Passover, Communion is about remembering

September 6, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Exodus 13:3, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25, 1 Peter 1:14-19

Exodus 13
3 Moses said to the people, “Remember this day which is the day that you came out of Egypt, out of the place you were slaves, because the LORD acted with power to bring you out of there. No leavened bread may be eaten.

1 Corinthians 11
24 After giving thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this to remember me.” 25 He did the same thing with the cup, after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do this to remember me.”

1 Peter 1
14 Don’t be conformed to your former desires, those that shaped you when you were ignorant. But, as obedient children, 15 you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. 16 It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy [Leviticus 19:2]. 17 Since you call upon a Father who judges all people according to their actions without favoritism, you should conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your dwelling in a strange land. 18 Live in this way, knowing that you were not liberated by perishable things like silver or gold from the empty lifestyle you inherited from your ancestors. 19 Instead, you were liberated by the precious blood of Christ, like that of a flawless, spotless lamb.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The word “remember” was fundamental to Israel’s Passover observance. In the rough-and-tumble Middle East (then as now), Israelites were never to forget that their freedom and existence as a people was not based on their own strength or military prowess, but on God’s action on their behalf. Christians, in an even more profound way, must always remember that our life as God’s beloved children is based, not on any spiritual accomplishment of our own, but on Jesus’ self-giving love.

  • Why would Jesus think it important to ask his followers to “remember” him by sharing bread and wine? They’d been with him for three years—they surely wouldn’t forget. But Moses had asked Israel to “remember” even the epic event of the Exodus. And John’s gospel said Jesus “didn’t need anyone to tell him about human nature, for he knew what human nature was” (John 2:25). Yes, we forget. How does taking part in Communion help you remember what Jesus has done for you?
  • It’s important to fully grasp Peter’s call for God’s people to “be holy in every aspect of your lives.” Too many people have come to believe “holy” means having unloving, judgmental or exclusive attitudes. But Peter clearly understood being “holy” to mean living as much like Jesus as possible (cf. 1 Peter 1:22, 2:1). How can the Communion elements remind you to aim for a life like Jesus, who people who thought they were “holy” criticized as a friend of sinners (cf. Luke 7:34)?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want your love and goodness to fill me all the time. I’m not always there yet, so keep me growing in expressing your love authentically. Amen.

GPS Insights

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek serves as the Director of Discipleship at Resurrection Downtown. She loves to travel and has been to 49 states, 11 countries and lived in Vancouver, Canada for grad school! When not gallivanting all over the world, she lives in Liberty with her husband, Aaron, and two sons, Owen and Porter.

For me, September is like the first of the year. I am reinvigorated to begin new rhythms or at least come back to rhythms I set aside over the summer. I get giddy over school supplies (cue Meg Ryan from You’ve Got Mail) like “a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.” The world seems fresh and alive! It also happens to be my birthday month, but I digress. 

The start of this new season brings with it the opportunity to look ahead, but also to look back. There is a practice I first learned from Emily P. Freeman (check her out on Instagram @emilypfreeman) with three questions that go something like this…

  1. What are three words to describe this past summer?
  2. What was a moment of joy for you this last season?
  3. What’s one thing you’re looking forward to in the fall?

These three simple questions help me to look forward by looking back. There is power in remembering, even as we are moving toward the future.  

And I wonder if this might be what we’re asked to do each time we approach Communion. We look back and we remember all that God has done for us. Communion is a beautiful, tangible reminder that as we move forward in the knowledge and love of God, we start from a posture of remembering.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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