January 16, 2015

Something New: Memory

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

—  1 Corinthians 11:25

The celebration of the Lord's Supper is one of the most significant things Christians do together. Whether they gather around the Lord's table weekly or every few months, followers of Christ proclaim that only in Jesus can we hope to receive forgiveness and grace to live as he did. We do this to remember all that Christ has done for us.

Thinking about the past, of course, is nothing new. But in the Lord's Supper, Jesus gives his people a gift that does more than let us look back and remember. By proclaiming Jesus' death each time we celebrate the Supper, we also look forward and upward as we declare the ongoing power of Jesus' death for his people today and forever.

Jesus offers his people a new kind of memory. Our salvation begins in the past, at the cross. But Christ continues to nourish believers with his crucified body and shed blood. Just as a daily meal gives us strength for our physical life, so also the regular celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection nourishes the spiritual lives of all who have faith in Christ. This is the "new cove­nant" (Jeremiah 31:31-34): the promise of God to ­strengthen believers with himself so that they can serve him faithfully.

Will this memory of Christ's death nourish you for worship and service in this new year?

Lord, I remember; I believe that you died for me. You gave up your perfect life so that I could live. May your death renew me for life with you today. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!