Originally scheduled for March 17
Perhaps you never thought about it, but pause
for a minute and reflect on the fact that the physical elements used
in communion are among the most common edible substances on earth.
There is nothing rare or esoteric about either bread or wine (or
Bread? It’s something that you can
make out of ground-up wheat, which is flour, and water. Wheat grows
practically anywhere, except Antarctica.
Grapes? One of the oldest plants
known to civilization. Wine is something that mankind has known how
to make for thousands of years.
Christ chose two elements for communion which
were extremely common. We might well ask why.
I submit to you that he picked these elements,
as common as they are, specifically because they were so common.
First, this enables practically
everyone to participate in communion. The ingredients are right at
hand and available even to the poorest of the poor.
Next, the very ordinariness of these
elements makes it certain that you will not be dazzled by the way
they are presented. Have you ever really been impressed by gold
plated communion trays? Have you ever commented on what vintage the
wine might be? Have you ever been impressed by the artisan nature of
the bread? To ask the question shows the absurdity of the answer.
Perhaps most important, the elements
are ordinary so that you will look beyond the elements to see the
meaning in communion. Bread and wine are so ordinary they cannot be
the meaning of something so special as communion.
So our Lord puts these common elements before
you; what does he ask you to do with them? He simply asked that you
partake of them “in a worthy manner.” What does that mean?
He asks that you take this as a
repentant sinner. Do not
come to justify yourself; come to claim the forgiveness he freely
He asked that you take it in a
respectful manner. Do not
take it lightly; do not think that it is “just a ritual.” Rather,
know that it is the center of worship.
Finally, he asks that you
remember. Remember the sacrifice that he made on the Cross, for you,
dying so that your sins might be forgiven. His body, his blood make
up your communion.