The Last Supper

The Last Supper

~ MATTHEW 26:17-30~
Imagine for a moment you are disciple number 13. You are sitting in an old mans house relaxing with Jesus and the 12 disciples. Jesus begins talking of prophecy and betrayal. You begin to adopt a “not me” attitude just as the other 12 disciples. None of this is making sense. Then Jesus begins to talk about bread being his body and wine being his blood. I imagine that  you and the other disciples are just as confused as when Mary found out about the immaculate conception. Jesus hadn’t even been crucified yet. A modern name to this ritual is known as Communion. So what exactly is Communion and who observes this ritual?  Communion is a time in which we break bread in remembrance of the  body of Christ crucified and broken for us. The wine is symbolic of his blood that was shed for mankind to forgive us our sin. Some churches opt to use grape juice instead as there may be recovering alcoholics in the congregation. The blood was shed to forgive each and every one of us for the sin we commit. It was also shed to rectify the events that led to sin from Adam and Eve. Communion is a promise that Jesus will return once again and then partake in this ritual with us personally. I have observed communion in a few different churches and each church had their own ways of doing it. Each and every time we take Communion ,God is pleased with us. He is pleased whether we use leavened or unleavened bread , fermented or unfermented grape juice, are in a group or by ourselves.  Communion is not just a representation of the sacrifice Jesus made but the sacrifice God made as well.To honor both of them is an extremely humble feeling. I can not remember the first time I took communion but can definitely tell you that my views have definitely changed over the past 20 years of being a Christian. The church where I first observed communion at the ripe age of 12 practiced this ritual one time per month. The Pastors and Elders would stand at the altar with a loaf of bread and goblet of grape juice. I would walk up to the Pastor and break off a piece of bread. While breaking the bread the Pastor would say to me “This is Christ’s body broken for you”. I would then head over to the elder and dip my bread in the grape juice. As I did this the Elder would say ” This is the blood of Christ , Shed for you.” . I would return to my seat and sit in deep thought as the praise team sang a worship song. These are my earliest encounters with communion. I want to mention others in my church observed it differently after they broke the bread and drank the juice. I truly believe Communion is very personal and extremely individualized. Many memories and many missed communions later I found myself in that exact same line again. But something had changed. Now I began to hear the words of God clearer when I took communion. Looking back now I realize I had blocked the spirit from really living inside me. I would welcome him in for the few minutes to take communion but push him right back out as soon as I got what I needed. This only meant one thing, I was growing spiritually. My views on Communion were changing. After a few months of taking communion again my life took yet another turn. I had become incarcerated. With it being the season of Lent and Easter just a month away  I felt so distant from God. Even though I was breaking the rules, I took a piece of bread from my lunch and my koolaid packet into my cell. That night right before bed I took the bread and koolaid and said a little prayer over it. As I began eating the bread I said to myself , “This is the body of Christ broken for me.” I  then  took the koolaid and said , “This is the blood of Christ shed for me” . I felt clean and liberated. I felt free from the strongholds that were holding me back. I began doing this once a week. On Easter Sunday I chose to fast all day and at sundown I partook in communion individually one final time. I never viewed Communion the same again. I learned that I didn’t need to be at church or around people to take Communion. I learned what was really important was being in the presence of God and allow the spirit to permeate my body. Never would I take for granted the freedom of Communion again. Four years later and I am plugged into an extremely spirit filled church. This particular church partakes in communion on an individual basis. The tables are set up in all four corners of the church. We walk up and pick up a piece of unleavened bread and a small vial of juice.. Many of us stand against the wall to avoid being in the way of others. I stand there for a few minutes with my bread and juice in hand and just listen to God. I always thank God I am free to observe this ritual and remember the lonely girl in the cell who had to break the rules in order to observe Communion. After my silence I look at the bread and I say, ” This is the body broken for me, Thank you so much Jesus.” As I drink the juice I say, “Thank you for shedding your blood on the cross for me and making me a new creation.” I toss the little cup and head to the altar. While at the altar I get in sync with God. I allow the spirit to move through me and touch my body. He heals my wounds, forgives my wrongs , and assures me I am a beautiful Child of God. I do not take communion every week. I feel no need to. I will take communion if I had an extremely rough week or spent a good percentage of the week trying to do my will instead of God’s Will for my life. I sometimes even take Communion if I want to thank God for the many freedoms and things I have in my life. To me this is what it’s all about. Obeying God and being in sync with him. If I am wavering, if I am scared, if I am anxious, if I need a close encounter with God, I opt to take communion. If I committed a sin in which makes me feel like I am undeserving of Gods love and grace , I take communion. I am happy communion is available to me once a week. It allows me to get right with God and stay on the right track to spiritual maturity

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