Despite our best efforts and fervent hopes, God cannot be fully known. Our questions will never be fully answered. God’s ways are higher then ours and so, in some ways, God will always be a mystery. But God does desire to be known. Christ came, in part, to make God known.
In Christ, we know God is good and kind. We know God cares about the lost and confused, the sick and the poor. We know God is love, not because of an abstract theological declaration, but because his love has been demonstrated and incarnated in Christ. Jesus has lived out the character of God.
And that is why this meal matters so much to our understanding of God. This meal is foundational to Christian theology because God is known most fully in Christ, and Christ is known in Communion. It is in Communion we see the highest expression of Christ’s love is his death. It is in Communion we see God is fundamentally for us and not against us. It is in Communion we see the welcoming, inviting, feast-giving nature of our Lord Jesus. We get to know Jesus in this meal.
We see this clearly demonstrated in the days after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus has spent the day with two of his disciples, teaching and explaining the Scripture to them. But still, he is not recognized by them. It is only when they gather to eat that they realize it is Jesus, and then only after he breaks the bread. It is at the table that Jesus is recognized.
This is still true for us. In this meal we see with clarity the nature of our Savior, and therefore, the nature of our God. Our God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. And this memorial feast is our constant demonstration of that love.
Christ let his body be broken and his blood be shed so we might be reconciled to God. In this meal we see the sacrificial love of the Son demonstrated; and in the life and love of the Son, the love of the Father is proclaimed and made known.
Ethan Magness serves as pastor of spiritual formation with Mountain Christian Church, Joppa, Maryland.