November 02, 2022

Simple but Sacred

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

“This [bread] is my body, which is for you. . . . This cup is the new covenant in my blood. . . .”

—  1 Corinthians 11:24-25

If you have seen or participated in the Lord’s Supper (communion) in a church service, you’ll probably remember the pastor breaking bread and pouring wine or juice into a cup.

Take a moment to reflect on these images.

Some of the holiday meals we enjoy, or grand celebrations—such as weddings or anniversaries—might have different courses and many kinds of food. But the Lord’s Supper, the Jesus-meal, looks quite simple in comparison. Even if this meal takes place in a great ­cathedral, it has only two parts—bread (or wafers) and wine (or juice).

Even so, probably more ink has been used to explain this meal than almost any other topic in church history. And there is good reason for that. There are important questions worth asking—and perhaps ­answering, if we are able.

What did Jesus really mean when he said, “This [bread] is my body,” and, “This cup is . . . my blood”? How might Jesus be present with us when we eat this meal? Why did Jesus tell his followers to celebrate this meal regularly? Why does this meal matter at all?

You see, this meal is truly special. In the church we even call it “sacred.” Spend some time reflecting and talking with ­others about some of these questions.

Lord Jesus, your disciples were often puzzled by your words and actions. And, if we are honest, we are sometimes puzzled too. Still, we thank you for this sacred meal. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Kristopher Walhof

Kristopher Walhof is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church who lives with his wife and seven-year-old son in rural Kenya. He teaches Bible and theology courses to theological students seeking ordination in the Africa Inland Church (AIC) denomination.

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