Christ and Communion: Part 1

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*The following piece was written for a devotional speech I gave as part of my Introduction to Public Speaking course.

Candid Communion

Back when I was small

And the black suits were tall,

There were services that went on too long,

First one man would preach

And another would teach

Then the people sang melancholy songs,

While black suits would bear

With quiet, solemn care

Bread and juice up aisle and down.

Then later the socks

Awkwardly came off

And the suits would bend and wash toes,

While the hushed skirts went

Down the stairs and then,

Came back up and sat in their rows;

We sang songs of grief,

Prayed. At last with relief,

The long, sacred service would close.[1]

I’m no longer small, and as I’ve grown up, I’ve become captivated by the celebration we call Communion. Why? Because Communion tells a story, and the story’s main character is Jesus. The one who claimed that He came not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it, the most righteous man who ever lived, sat and ate one Last Supper with His disciples. His actions that night showed His disciples how to live fulfilling the law. By imitating Christ’s actions that evening, we, too, can live righteously.

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 “He took bread . . . gave thanks . . . [broke]it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19 (KJV) The illustration Jesus used here is tangible and powerful.  Christ’s actions are deliberate and instructive. For when we remember Christ, we remember the primary law, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.”When we remember Christ, we remember our sinfulness and give thanks for the grace God extends to us. To live righteously, remember Christ.

The story continues. John 13 reads that, “During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot . . . to betray him, Jesus . . . Rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet.” (John 13:2-5 ESV) We think we know the lesson here: serve your brothers even in lowly ways. But do we recognize the commandment, “Love your neighbour as yourself?” Do we recognize that Jesus set aside his garments. This tells me that we need to set aside our wants for others. Do we recognize that Christ washed the feet of both his friend and enemy, and we must do the same? In the words of Mother Theresa “This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts[2].”To live righteously, serve everyone.

The concluding action of Christ at the last supper often goes unnoticed. All that scripture says is “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.” (Mark 14:26) What was Christ’s swan song? Matthew Henry Commentary says that it was most likely Psalms 113 to 118, all of which are psalms of praise to God. Psalms like: “Praise ye the Lord, Praise O ye servants of the Lord.” (113:1a) and “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” (116:13) Matthew Henry says, “Though Christ was in the midst of his enemies, yet he did not, for fear of them, omit this sweet duty of singing psalms[3].”  Paul and Silas could sing in the jail, because their Jesus had sung before going to Gethsemane and Calvary. No matter the circumstance, we can praise. To live righteously, praise always.

 “He’s finished supper.  He’s poured the wine, broken the bread, and left a message.  To live right, we must remember Him.  He’s washed feet, even the feet of those who will betray, deny, forsake Him, and left the second message.  To live right, we must serve everyone.  Everyone.  He’s sung a hymn, and left another message.  To live right, we must praise in our darkest hour[4].”

As you commemorate the Last Supper, consider the actions of Christ and remember that we too, can live righteously.


[1] © Yolanda Lichty, October 2018, all rights reserved.

[2] “MOTHER TERESA QUOTES ON LOVE WITH IMAGES Image Quotes at Relatably.Com,” Relatably.com, 2018, http://www.relatably.com/q/mother-teresa-quotes-on-love-with-images.

[3] “Mark 14 Commentary – Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete),” Bible Study Tools, 2018, https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/mark/14.html.

[4] Yolanda Lichty, “Thy Kingdom Come | Travelight94,” travelight94, 2016, https://travelight94.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/thy-kingdom-come/.

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