I remember telling my dad at the age of 9 I wanted to become a Christian. I recall my older brother saying, “All he wants to do is be able to take Communion.” There was quite a discussion that ensued between my dad and his two sons!
After studying for a number of weeks under my dad’s direction, I went forward to commit my life to Christ and be baptized. It was a wonderful time of celebration and hope for the future. I remember my uncle pouring some water into the baptistery from a vial he filled from the Jordan River on a trip to the Holy Land. He knew I needed all the help I could get!
Now, after walking with the Lord for more than 60 years, Communion is more than a family habit, act of obedience, or a duty to be performed. Rather, I anticipate it every week as a privileged opportunity to express gratitude to Jesus for his sacrifice for me and to examine my life to seek his healing and direction for the coming week.
When I come to Communion, I do not come at the invitation of an earthly dad, or an older brother. Rather, I come in response to the invitation of my heavenly Father who bids all those who are his children to commune with him. I commune not because he needs me, but because I need him and the forgiveness that flows from Calvary.
Communion is remembering our Lord’s blood was shed and body was broken on our behalf. He did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He gave us life in the face of death, hope in the midst of despair, and power to replace our weakness. Whether you are 9 or 90, Communion is for family—God’s family. We are forgiven and on our way to an eternal celebration where we join the chorus of Heaven to sing, “Worthy is the lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise . . . for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12, 13).
Bryce Jessup is president emeritus of William Jessup University, Rocklin, California.