By Jon Wren
One evening more than 2,000 years ago, Jesus and his followers huddled in a house in Jerusalem and shared a meal we now call Communion. We don’t have any details about what the house looked like or who owned it. But in that house that night, a small group of fishermen and outcasts huddled together for a meal while hiding out from the authorities.
Today, untold numbers of tourists from around the world visit Jerusalem to visit places where scholars think that house might possibly have been. Think about that for a moment. When Jesus’ followers took the Passover meal, they surely never imagined people from all around the world would someday travel to Jerusalem just to be “in the area” of that supper.
For Christ followers today, it can be tempting to read the gospel accounts of that night and assume all of the participants realized its eternal significance. But back then, Jesus’ followers had no idea about the importance of the gathering. All they knew was they were tired, anxious, and scared, but their friend Jesus was asking them to trust him anyway.
As we approach Communion today, perhaps we can learn something from the faith of his followers that night. While most of us know about God’s incredible redemption available to us through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, some of us might admit that, even now, we’re struggling with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. But Jesus, our friend, is asking us to trust him. And unlike his first disciples that night—who may never have imagined what would be possible through Christ—we are privileged to know the whole story. We know that Jesus is ever faithful, and we have every reason to trust him. We can rest assured in Christ’s promise, “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life” (John 6:47).
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 slowly.
(The image is detail of an embroidered picture of Jesus blessing the bread and wine [circa 1800–50, Great Britain], part of the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)