I received a tradition from the Lord, which I also handed on to you: on the night on which he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread. After giving thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this to remember me.” He did the same thing with the cup, after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do this to remember me.” Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you broadcast the death of the Lord until he comes. -1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Tonight we gather around the table of our Lord to remember his life given for us. We call this “Maundy Thursday” and it doesn’t mean that Monday is coming again on a Thursday! “Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mande” meaning “command.” On this day, we do what Jesus commanded us to do, well, at least one of the important things. He told us to love our enemies, to love each other, to put away the sword, to bless the poor, and many other things that are pretty difficult to do. But this one, maybe we can handle.
Jesus told us to remember him every time we eat the bread and drink the cup. Does this mean just when we are at the communion table? Or is it every time we eat or drink, are we to recall his life? At the least, I think we are to especially remember Jesus when we come together for communion. At communion, though, we practice how we are to be at every other table we gather around in any time or place. We are to share the feast, realize we drink from a common cup of grace, and pass around God’s love in liberal, generous, heaping helpings.
If we can practice this at the table, and keep this command of Jesus, look what happens: we wind up loving our enemies, and each other, and putting violence aside, and taking care of the poor. All of that happens when we are passing the bread, and sharing the cup.
See you in worship, beloveds.