The Lord’s Supper: “Do this unto My remembrance”

This week draws together several threads we have been considering recently. The need to pray without ceasing; the need to think of things as the Bible thinks of them, and not in the sterile terms so common in theology; the significance of the Lord’s Table to us.

Jesus tells us it is His memorial, and in biblical terms this means not just that it is for us to remember Him, but also that it is a reminder to God of what Jesus did for us, a reminder to God that we partake of Christ’s body and blood, and that we are what we eat. Theology tells us that God needs no reminders, and as far as it goes, this is true. Jesus tells us to remind God regularly. “Why?” we want to know. Perhaps for the same reasons that we pray without ceasing even though God knows our requests before we ask. Perhaps for other reasons. The most pressing thing, however, is not to know why, but to obey God’s command.

This is one of the necessary lessons of worship that must spill over into the world: the mysteries are many, our understanding is weak, and we obey in spite of it all. Not because we understand, but because we trust the God who guides us. In that trust God answers our prayer: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Advertisements

2 Responses to The Lord’s Supper: “Do this unto My remembrance”

  1. Drew says:

    I don’t think we don’t do it at all to help God remember. We do it to help ourselves remember. The crazy thing is that the Catholics and especially the Orthodox would take something designed to remind us continually about the atonement, and turn it into a work of righteousness to get us into heaven.

    (Same goes for baptism, imo, which is designed to teach eternal security.)

  2. Tim Nichols says:

    Drew,

    The “fine arts in the Bible” folk do okay on sculpture, visual art, music, dance and poetry. But historically the church has sometimes been very hostile to drama, on the grounds that it has no biblical precedent.

    But of course we were wrong about that. Worship is drama; a ritual enactment of the terms of the covenant between God and man. Under the old covenant, the peace offering was a dramatization of fellowship with God, and it accomplished what it signified. The Lord’s Table is the new covenant equivalent. It is, in that sense, a means of grace — but sanctifying grace. And sure, it’s a reminder to us as well as to God. We can’t very well remind God of what we don’t remember ourselves, so it has the practical effect of forcing us to remember. (And on the matter of it being a reminder to God: note Lev. 6:15, Ac. 10:4, Psa. 70, and the particular language in Lu.22:19//1Cor.11:24-25 “do this unto my remembrance.”)

%d bloggers like this: