COMMUNION ON THE MOON
One of the first things man did when he landed on the moon in the summer of 1969 was to take communion. When I first read about this little footnote in history, it reminded me of how some Christians take communion today. They are alone, sitting in darkness, remaining aloof from the rest of the Body. They are unable to enter into real fellowship with others, walled-in by unresolved conflicts. Worse yet, they are unable to enter into the fullest fellowship with Jesus, which is communicated through His Body. Although these same people wouldn’t miss a communion service, they might as well be taking communion on the moon!
Jesus said that communion was to be done“in remembrance of”Him. Do you think He was concerned that the Twelve might actually forget Him? Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the revelation Jesus gave him regarding communion, but I don’t think he did this because he was concerned that this first century church might forget Jesus or what He did on the cross. The part they were forgetting, to a startling degree, was whythey were to take communion. The same thing happens in our churches today, where people take it out of routine, as if it were just a religious ritual. This can eclipse the real reason behind it.
Personally, I have never taken communion once to remind myself about Jesus. I have never had any trouble remembering who He is or what He did on the cross. What I do forget, almost daily, is the fact that how I treat others is really how I treat Jesus. I need a regular reminder of this. For me, communion has a practical purpose that can impact my spiritual and physical health.
Here are some of the benefits of taking communion:
§ It can help us treat our spouses differently, sparing our families from the needless devastation of divorce.
§ It can help us view our children differently, so we can begin to relate to them differently.
§ We need to take it to help us to begin to restore broken relationships.
§ We need to take it in order to begin to see the troubled people in our churches differently.
§ We need to take it to see the church we left differently.
§ We need to take it to see the church across the street differently.
§ We need to use it to recover our health, when all other forms of healing elude us.
§ It can break down the pride and prejudice that separates us other groups and cultures.
§ We need to take it to break the spiritual impotence in our lives and in our churches.
In many of our churches, we take communion selfishly. By this I mean we often are told by the pastor to take time to remember that Jesus died “for us” before we partake of the cup and the bread. While this is true, this was not Paul’s emphasis when writing to the believers at Corinth. We will discover, within the pages of this study, how Paul used communion to help believers remember how they should treat each other. He actually used communion to resolve church conflict. It certainly can be used to reflect upon the forgiveness Jesus provided through His shed blood. Yet, if that is all we remember, seeing how it might only benefit us, it’s selfish. So often we forget that Jesus died for those we are struggling with or dividing from.