I was thinking today that at our Good Friday service we would receive Communion. As I thought of that I remembered the last time I stood with the Communion cup in my hand. As I stood there I contemplated my life and totally zoning out what the minister was saying I went back to when I was a little girl receiving the Lord’s Supper for the first time.
My dad had read the scripture about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and breaking the bread and all I knew was that I was doing something that felt grown-up and very important for the first time. Back then there was always a “foot washing” before the Communion with women washing women’s feet and men washing each other’s feet. I think it was supposed to be a show of humility, but some seemed so proud of their act that I fear it cancelled any humble attitude they might have had! Jesus did it to show that He would be their servant, we do it by our acts of kindness, forgiveness and understanding, or should I just say by our Christian actions. Then as I came back to the present waiting to receive the Cup and began to examine myself, my attitudes, motives, all of my inner goings on, why?
Because 1 Corinthians 11:27-28 says, Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, and come to this meal in holy awe.
That was the part that made me pause and take a good look inside. As I looked inward I found some trash hidden under one or two attitudes that I felt needed to be dealt with, a few things I don’t like about myself.
Did that stop me from taking the bread and drinking the cup? No, when you recognize that you are a work in progress and acknowledge it to God, ask Him to forgive and help you, then stand at the cross with your soul bared so that the blood of Jesus can wash you clean.
Today an old song crossed my mind and I sang it out loud to myself. It says: “The cross upon which Jesus died, is a shelter in which we can hide, and His grace so free is sufficient for me, as deep as the ocean as wide as the sea, There’s room at the cross for you, yes there’s room at the cross for you. Though millions have some, there’s still room for one, yes there’s room at the cross for you.” Then I segued into “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Suddenly I felt that I had been in the presence of the One that freely gave Himself for me.
In this season of Lent I can take communion daily, right here by myself and think of that last night when Jesus made himself vulnerable to his “friends”, the disciples and even recognized that one among them was going to betray him. It’s an awesome thought, the thought of knowing that you are about to be betrayed unto your death by someone that you have sat and eaten with, someone that has been your friend and companion. It happens to us, has happened to me, the difference is I never had to die on a cross because of it.
I look forward to our Good Friday service, even though it is still a few weeks away, because I will come home happy that I received Communion with my church family and I will feel free and thankful to Jesus for giving His life for me.