Originally scheduled for June 1
It is a curious fact that in the there are
several mentions of the word “memorial.” In the New Testament,
however, there is only one mention.
This occurs in the 10th chapter of Acts, and concerns the
centurion known as Cornelius. Startled by the angel’s appearance —
the usual reaction — he is told that his prayers and gifts to the
poor have come up as a memorial offering to God. In the Old
Testament memorials tend to be either offerings at the altar of the
Lord or collections of stones. They were there to remind the
Israelites either of events that happened or the goodness of God.
For Cornelius the memorial is a good example of how we should
combine the practical with the spiritual.
Let’s take a look at that:
The spiritual side is shown in
prayer. From the world’s point of view prayer is an exercise in a
closet. We know better, of course. But it is something that is
largely spiritual. The spiritual, however, should prompt us to the
The practical side is shown in his
gifts to the poor. As James points out, works without action mean
that your faith is meaningless.
In the New Testament there is only one
memorial: communion. In and of itself communion is purely a
spiritual exercise. But like all spiritual exercises it should
prompt us to the practical work of the church. We see in this
memorial the character of Christ. It should prompt us to the
imitation of Christ.
So I ask you:
Does the blood of his sacrifice move
you to sacrifice for Him? Are your days marked with the gift to the
poor, the helping Hand to the needy?
Does his body on the Cross move you
to work for Him? Each of us should have a particular task, no matter
how humble, and do it well.
Do you cover all these things, the
practical side, with the spiritual exercise of prayer?
Communion is a reminder of what Jesus has done
for you. Perhaps it should also be a reminder of what you need to do