Thursday, April 9, 2009



Maundy Thursday
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NRSV)

Proclaim the Lord's death

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that 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.


Today’s scripture comes with the byline “Proclaim the Lord’s death.”

That seems a little gruesome to me, but here it is in The Holy Bible, so we know that it is very important. What does it mean to “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes [again]?”

Well, Jesus, himself, instituted “The Lord’s Supper.” On the very night before he died, Jesus gathered his disciples together in an upper room and told them in essence, “this bread we eat is my body and this wine we drink is my blood. Every time you get together, I want you to do this again in remembrance of me.”

Wow! Jesus didn’t make that many requests of his disciples, but this one seems really important. Why do we need to eat bread and drink wine/grape juice in remembrance of Jesus?

Well, I notice several possible answers in today’s scripture. First of all, I notice the simplicity of the elements. Anyone can probably get their hands on some bread and drink of this nature. I’m really glad about this because it means whether you are rich or poor, famous or unknown, important or nondescript, everyone has the same access to this opportunity to remember Jesus. Isn’t it great that everyone is always welcome at our Lord’s supper table and that none are ever turned away?!

The second thing I notice is that Jesus said that we are to do this in remembrance of him. Wow! How could it be that something so simple could be so important, mystical, and holy? The answer is simple my friends, “Jesus said so.”

In ways that we can never understand, Jesus is present to us as we celebrate the Holy Communion. In the simplicity of the elements and of the ritual, God shows up for us in very special ways affirming God’s presence, love, forgiveness and grace, as we break bread and drink wine together on our knees.

Finally, I notice that we are commanded to “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes [again].” Isn’t it great that as Children of God we get to share Jesus with others?

When I was a little girl, we used a Bible translation which said, “As often as you come together, do this in remembrance of me.” I love the TOGETHER part!

Recently, I wrote a devotional entitled, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” As we gather together to experience and share God’s love, Christians become a model of unity and friendship for the entire world to see! As we sup together, eating bread and drinking wine across race, ethnicity, class, physical ability, and other physical, social, or economic demarcations, we become a living portrait of what love can--and should--look like!

Now, listen, I know that this love is imperfect; but as Christians—also known as The Body of Christ—we must do our best to be a living and loving example until Jesus comes again. At the first Lord's Supper, Jesus washed his disciples' feet in order to model the dignity of service. As we follow the example of Christ, we too are called to humbly serve others--feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, and visiting the sick and imprisoned--until Jesus comes again!

Aren’t you glad that Jesus said, “I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom (Matthew 26:29)”?

This promise, from our Lord and Savior, signals that there will come a great day when we will proclaim the Lord’s death in the heavens! We will celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and the grave with God and with the holy angels. We will be able to look into the smiling face of Jesus as we take part in a Holy Ghost party that has no end!

I don’t know about you, but every time I partake of Holy Communion here on the Earth, over my head I hear glory and victory in the air! I hear the whispers of eternity joining with me in grand celebration. I feel the warm and loving embrace of God as I sup at the table Jesus prepared just for me (and you, you, and YOU)!

As Christians, we are tellers of the greatest and simplest story ever told. God loves, God gave, God saves. God loves us so much that God gave Jesus to die on the cross in order to save us from our sins and to open the door to a never-ending party in the heavens.

How can we keep such GOOD NEWS to ourselves? We cannot, my friends!

Today, we are commanded in scripture to “declare Jesus death.” As you lead people to the cross, sharing with them to the love of God and pointing out the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, tell your friends this, “He did not stay dead, but was resurrected, just like he promised!”

Now, ain’ta that GOOD NEWS?!

How or to whom will you declare Jesus’ death and resurrection today?

My Lord God, how grateful I am that you allowed Jesus to die on the cross for me. Please help me to declare his death until he comes again. May my declaration be so filled with Your love, joy, peace, and grace that others will come running asking, “What must I do to be saved?”


If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus" found at

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