What is the point of Holy Communion?

The point of communion is to give believers comfort that our sins are forgiven and that nothing stands between us and God.  That is the whole point of the message of God’s love to us spelled out in words, the Gospel. But holy communion is even more pointed, more personal.

We all have a little pipsqueak inside of us.  That pipsqueak tries to exempt us from the rules.  I’ve got that little pipsqueak.  That’s why I smoked for years.  I’m not an idiot.  I knew it was bad for me, that it could give me lung cancer or emphysema.  I watched people die from it.  But the little pipsqueak inside of me told me it wasn’t going to happen to me.  That pipsqueak also told me I didn’t need to be wearing a seatbelt as I was turning into the driveway to go to traffic school—right before the garbage truck totaled my car and almost put me through the windshield.

But you’ve got that pipsqueak, too.  It convinces you you can drive faster than the speed limit, you don’t have to be on time for work and you can lose weight without exercising. Now that pipsqueak goes to work on God’s Gospel promises to us.  He takes a passage like “God so loved the world”— except me!  “God was reconciling the world”— except me!  It tries to exclude us from God’s love so we think that while God loves everybody else, he doesn’t love me.  While he has forgiven the world, he hasn’t forgiven me.

That’s why Jesus commanded us to take the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion.  That’s why he made it what it is, his giving us his true body and blood, in with and under that bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins.

“Take eat, take and drink.  This is for the forgiveness of sins for you”— except me, my pipsqueak interrupts.

“Oh, no!” Jesus says.  “If you can see it, touch it, taste it, feel it going down your throat, my forgiveness for you is real.”

Like a persistent father who keeps moving toward us while he is making his point crystal clear, even as we are backing up, trying to get away, Jesus backs us into a corner so we can’t get away.  He intrudes into our space so we can’t ignore him.

He died for me. He took away my sins. He endured the punishment I deserved.

To prove to me that it was for me, in a miraculous way through holy communion he is giving me his very body which hung on the cross.  He is giving me his true blood which he shed on the cross.

I am forgiven by God.  I am loved by God.  I am saved.

And that pipsqueak of a sinful human nature inside of me can’t say otherwise.

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