By Mandy Smith
First Corinthians 11:26 says: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
So simply by taking this bread and juice today, we remember and retell the story of Jesus’ death, every time, over and over again. We keep telling the story as we eat the bread and as we sip the juice. We tell it to ourselves as we taste it and we tell it to each other as we do it together. Christians have been doing this for thousands of years, and Christians will do this after we’re gone.
We do it to remember something that happened, and at the same time, we do it to remember the promise of what is to come. We proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Anyone who knows that Jesus died also knows that he rose again. So the story we remember is not a story only of death, but one of resurrection and life. It’s a story of promises told and kept and new promises we’re still waiting to see fulfilled.
And so every time we take part in this small feast, we are remembering Jesus’ Last Supper with his friends and the Passover meal they were celebrating. Both things remind us of God’s long work of provision for and protection of his people. Both remind us that God keeps his promises.
This is encouraging because we’re still waiting for him to keep his promise that he’ll come again. Every time we take part in this small feast, we remember not only those past feasts, but one that is to come:
As Revelation 19:6-9 says,
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”. . .
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”
We are invited to the “wedding supper of the Lamb.” Take part in this supper today and remember your invitation to that great and wonderful supper still to come.
We are part of this story God has been weaving over centuries. Just as he has been faithful to the Israelites through the Passover, just as he has been faithful to raise Jesus from the dead, he will be faithful to return again and welcome us to this wedding feast to celebrate our reunion with him.
Originally from Australia, Mandy Smith is pastor of University Christian Church, a campus and neighborhood congregation with its own fair-trade café in Cincinnati. She is the author of The Vulnerable Pastor: How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry.