1 Corinthians 11:23–26 (NRSV)
Verse 23For 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, Verse 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Verse 25In 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." Verse 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
What is it that Christians do when they celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion? At its worst, the church has fought inelegant theological wars over this simple question. Sometimes those theological wars have led to real wars. The tragic irony! 1 Corinthians 11:23–26 is one of the few places Paul narrates a scene from Jesus’ life. Paul emphasizes that the truths about the Lord’s Supper had been passed down to him from the Lord and that he in turn was passing them on to the church at Corinth. The surprise comes at the end of Paul’s narration of the Last Supper: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” The silent action of receiving the bread and the wine is actually a proclamation! The proclamation that in Christ’s death, God meets us with new life.
Gracious God, teach us to be silent as we eat and drink, so that the good news of Christ’s death may be clearly heard in a noisy world of death. Amen.