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Dearly Beloved,

Dr Pepper and salt and vinegar chips.

In my message last Sunday I talked about how we can best pass the baton of faith to the next generation. An important piece of this is understanding that it might look a little bit different than generations prior, but that does not mean Jesus isn't alive and moving in their lives. As I was asked to write about communion this week I immediately thought of a time that the next generation looked a little bit different. About a year ago, during a bible study I was hosting for some teenage boys in our church, we were prompted to do communion together and I was not prepared for this as I would have picked up some juice and crackers. What happened next absolutely looked different but it was still powerful. The boys still wanted to do communion so they found the passage in scripture and they found some Dr. Pepper and Lays salt & vinegar chips in my cupboard and led a powerful moment of communion. These teenagers prayed together and took part in remembering what Jesus did on the cross as a group and it was a great memory. 

Here in our Dearly Beloved, we are beginning a five-week stretch of celebrating and recognizing the importance of Christian ceremony. Ceremony is defined as “a formal/religious occasion, typically celebrating a particular event.” I am sure when you think of ceremony certain things come to mind, as I talked about earlier, communion is one of these ceremonies that we as believers take part in, not usually with Dr. Pepper and Lays but with bread and juice. 

The Holy Communion, the Last Supper, the Eucharist, the breaking of bread, this ceremony has many names but one purpose. In Matthew 26:26-28 Jesus breaks the bread and says “Eat, this is my body” then Jesus takes the cup and says “Drink from it all of you, this is my blood”. Jesus first had communion with his disciples at the Last Supper, Jesus knew that he was going to sacrifice himself for the world, he knew that his body will be hung on the cross and put in a tomb, and he knew his blood will be poured. We are instructed by Jesus to remember this, the practice of communion helps us remember. The ceremony of communion happening in churches did not start until roughly the year 200, and it has been a part of church ever since. Earlier in the definition of ceremony the word celebrate is used, it would make sense to wonder why we celebrate communion, the death of Jesus. Although somber, it is important to celebrate the body and blood of Jesus on the cross, it was the ultimate sacrifice for our forgiveness. We know that three days later that same body walked out of that tomb defeating death.

In 2024 communion is one of the Christian ceremonies that takes place in a church service. The first Sunday of every month is Communion Sunday which is this upcoming Sunday and we would love it if you would join us. I challenge everyone to see where else communion fits into your life, maybe there is a regular time that as a family you can do communion together at home, etc. Find ways to pause, reflect and remember what Jesus did on that cross for you and for me. 

Pastor Clay