by Julie Hoke, Pastor at Circle of Hope’s Germantown congregation.
The other week one of the older kids in our congregation asked me, “Why do we take communion, anyway?” What a great question!
I said something like, “Jesus was telling his disciples that he would give his own body and blood so there would not need to be any more sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. In the old way of doing things people killed animals as sacrifices because they needed blood to wash away their sin and make them right with God. Jesus was saying, “No more of that. I am the last sacrifice. Through me you are right with God.”
The response I got surprised me: “Oh wow! Why don’t you tell everybody that?!” I smiled and agreed. Let’s keep exploring these questions! The curiosity (or confusion) that prompted the question was enough to open up something new. It seemed like a revelation was happening right there in our conversation.
This meal that Jesus gave his disciples is about the past, the present moment, and our future as followers of Jesus. It is both the most ordinary of human activities (eating and drinking) and a symbol of the body and blood of Christ. It is an individual act and a communal one, a celebration and a somber feast. It is a meal that requires and affects reconciliation! There is a lot to it that can be revealed when we come asking (and we did that week in our Sunday meeting together).
I am thankful that we are a community that is asking questions. Even the children among us see that they can ask and wonder. May our questions keep leading us to the revelation of Jesus.