You probably don’t recognize the name Jacob German, but he should be famous. In 1899 he was the first to experience something that has become a common occurrence — so common I suspect most of the adults reading this have experienced it, probably more than once.
On May 20, 1899, German was stopped for speeding.
A taxi driver for the Electric Vehicle Company, German was tooling around New York City at the wildly inappropriate speed of 12 mph. People were aghast he would be so reckless. If they’d had driver’s licenses in those days, his almost certainly would have been revoked.
Unfortunately, people have been speeding ever since, and not just on the roadways. The pace of life in general has gotten so fast that terms like burnout and workaholic had to be invented because we had no way to describe the physical, emotional, and spiritual damage being done to people as a result.
There are many reasons to love the Lord’s Supper, but one of them surely is that it forces us to tap the brakes. When Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19), he was calling us to take our eyes off the road ahead—our hopes, dreams, plans, obligations, etc.—and cast them toward the rear. That in itself forces us to ease up on the accelerator just a little. Then, hopefully, as we think about his sacrifice, we begin to realize Jesus, who could have had a spectacularly successful career as a politician, motivational speaker, or circus performer, chose a cross. The fast lane to worldly success was stretching out before him, but he chose instead to walk the Via Dolorosa (the Way of Suffering) so you and I could be forgiven.
We need the Lord’s Supper to help keep us from speeding through life full-throttle. The crunch of bread between our teeth and the tang of juice on our tongues is our Lord’s way of reminding us that, ultimately, the race is not to the swift (Ecclesiastes 9:11), but to those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ.
Mark Atteberry serves as senior minister with Poinciana Christian Church, Kissimmee, Florida.