24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Shared meals were one of the most distinctive features of Jesus’ public activity. He was criticized for eating “with tax collectors and sinners” but he was all about inclusion and affirming a different vision of society in which the neighbor, as well as the stranger, was indeed loved.
The Lord’s Supper is an affirmation of Christian community. It is a declaration that we are a people bound under a new agreement with the living Lord, an agreement which sets us apart as an eternal community – a people bound in love to one another and to the Lord. We share these bits of bread and sips of wine or grape juice, which speak to us of our origin and hope, of identity and sacrifice. And utter joy! We share this meal which carries with it the message, “I love you and you’re special to me” as we offer again the very gifts of God with the words, “The body of Christ given for you. The blood of Christ shed for you.” What better way to love our neighbor than to “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”?
On this Maundy Thursday as we participate in the Lord’s Supper, we remember what Jesus has done for us. We reaffirm our faith in his death and resurrection on our behalf and we affirm our oneness and love, our community. Here we find a unity that sustains us, a unity based not in similarity of gifts, but in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here is where we act out what it is we believe. When we receive these common elements it is a sign and pledge that we are “with Christ” and “in Christ” and that he is “in us.” But not us as individuals — no, the corporate ‘us’ as representatives of God’s world, as the Body of Christ.
Loving God, as we share in this Sacrament may we hear your voice reminding us once again how much you love us. Amen