By Jon Wren
Many Christ followers observe Communion as a reminder of God’s grace and goodness and as a gift we receive rather than a prize we must earn. But for many Christians and churches, the desire to show others God’s goodness in action can drift into a need to show others our own goodness. And if we are not careful, we can begin to drift toward a well-intentioned but incredibly destructive life in which we are consumed by the need to be busy or at least seem busy on behalf of Christ.
Christian author Barbara Brown Taylor wrote of her struggles with this in her memoirs:
I had once again become so busy caring for the household of God that I neglected the One who had called me there. If I still had plenty of energy for the work, that was because feeding others was still my food. As long as I fed them, I did not feel my hunger pains.
That’s why the observance of Communion can be so valuable in forcing us to stop what we are doing and remember that he has done something for us. Without this peace, we can be like Taylor and drift toward ignoring our own need for a Savior and be consumed by becoming a savior to others.
We definitely are called to love our neighbors, serve our community, and be tangible examples of Christ to others—but we are also called to do so in a spirit of humility rather than one of pride or even exhaustion. The apostle Paul reminded the Colossians that the work of Christ freed us from the needs to be seen and to be busy so that we can find peace through his work.
Paul wrote, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
Today let’s allow Communion to remind us of what Christ alone has done for us, and to be thankful that it is more than enough.
Jon Wren works with the Office of Civil Rights, addressing the impact of gentrification on school desegregation. He loves history, college football, and once got a ticket for driving too slow.