One of the neat things about living in this part of the county is the presence of memorials. Whether they are the local monuments or the national memorials in and around the District of Columbia we are surrounded by reminders of where we have been as a nation. No, not all the remembrances reflect our history in a positive light, but they do represent our nation’s journey.
Memorials are important to humans – especially to God’s people. Throughout the Old Testament the Israelites were continually erecting monuments and memorials, but something came along with God’s new covenant that is a lasting reminder. When the Apostle Paul taught about what has become known as the Lord’s Supper he reflected back on a very important moment in the life of Jesus by recalling,
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. (I Corinthians 11:23-26)
The Communion Service is a time of reflection, remembrance and redirection. It allows us to set aside the cares of the world and focus on the nature of God. Among the lessons this memorial can teach us are:
1. God loves us. At the heart of this time of remembrance is that God cares enough about us to send His one and only Son as a propitiation for our sins and that Jesus loved us enough to get up off the throne of glory and step onto the cross. When we commune with God, we are able to feel the warm embrace of His love for each one of us.
2. God saves us. We will never be good enough to earn our own salvation so we need something to bridge the chasm between our sin and God’s purity. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the only series of events that could make that possible. When we gather around the Lord’s Table, we are reminded of the hope we have.
3. God awaits us. Our memorial feast recaps events of the past, but it also provides us with a reminder of the future – Jesus is coming back. This Second Coming of our Savior will mark the beginning of a new eternal life – the perfect forever after with the Perfect God.
We are grateful that God saw fit to establish this memorial for us. Our most important Memorial Day isn’t celebrated on the last Monday of May, it is a observed on the first day of each week.