I will never forget the time I was sitting down talking to my friend about life in general when he mentioned he wasn’t down with Christianity because it promotes cannibalism. I almost choked on my spit, I laughed so hard. Never in my life had a heard such a thing; I didn’t even know what he was referring to. Communion is the unleavened bread and juice symbolizing the body of Christ and his blood spilled.
In my experiences, even we as believers have little knowledge of what communion is and why we take it; we just do it because “that’s what Christians do”. However, that is very dangerous territory to be wandering in. The word of God says:
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
Communion in the most laymen terms is like a mini baptism – like a renewing of vows. As with baptism and marriage, there are steps taken before you just jump in the activity. Otherwise you end up doing more harm than good.
How does one prepare for communion, you might ask?
It starts with self-examination. You must sincerely spend time in prayer exposing every corner of your life before the throne of grace and confess your sins to the father. Mind you, this isn’t an on-the-spot requirement; before you even get to church you and Jesus should be cleaning house.
Washing of the feet symbolizes service; it is a reminder to each and every one of us that no one is greater than the other and that we all need each other.
We also partake of the emblems: Christ’s broken body and spilled blood – the eating of bread and drinking of wine. This is because we know what Christ went through to save us – physically broken, blood spilled. It was all necessary and so we do this in remembrance of him.
The entire communion ritual is about bringing our hearts, minds, bodies and souls back to our first love. Akin to baptism, it is a public display and reminder that we are forgiven and loved.
It is not simply actions we take because we want to “make sure” we are saved, It is a display of love, and honor to our king who saved us.
The next time you take communion, make sure your heart and mind are ready, for if they aren’t “that is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”(v.30)