We finally come to it, the distribution of the Lord's body and blood for our forgiveness, life, and salvation. Some would say that the entire service up to this point has been leading up to and preparing us for this moment of reception.
The Lord's Supper is properly called a meal, a banquet, a feast. It is the moment of eating of eating and drinking we have been looking forward to.
Imagine preparing a Thanksgiving meal for your whole family. You've sent the invitations. You've gotten the RSVPs back. You've planned out the meal and looked up the recipes. You ordered more place mats, plates, and forks. You got a special gravy boat for the occasion. You've bought the food. You've cooked the food. It's on the table. It has been blessed by prayer. The food is on your plate, on your fork, on your tongue, and it is delicious. It's what you've been waiting for.
One of the things I love about the architecture of most church buildings is that their communion space is often a semi-circle or semi-rectangle (if that's a thing). There is an insinuation that the space for those we commune with extends beyond the borders of our buildings. The Lord's Supper is a celebration that extends beyond time and space. As we commune with each other, we commune with those throughout the world and throughout time that have received Christ's body and blood just as we are receiving Him. It is a boundless fellowship, a limitless communion.
It reminds me of the Pixar filmCoco. In this film, a family is celebrating Dia de Muertos orThe Day of the Dead. Part of the celebration of this holiday includes putting out the favorite foods of those ancestors who have passed away. Toward the end of the film, there is a scene in which the audience can see both the living and the dead dining together.
This picture of dining in a great banquet with the saints who have gone before us is reflective of the Lord's Supper.
As we partake of this meal, as we participate in the body and blood of Christ, we do so in the same way that our parents, grandparents, and ancestors for centuries have done. We do so as our children, grandchildren, and descendants for centuries will do. Time and space are transcended in this meal as Jesus' once for all forgiveness is given to us again and again.
So the next time you receive Christ's body and blood for your forgiveness, look up to the cross, look around to your neighbors, look at the wall and remember the dear, departed saints who have gone before us and participate in this banquet's fare alongside us.