St Francis of Assissi is famous for saying, “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Paul puts it strongly about communion in 1 Corinthians 11, too: “as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” Our actions, our lives, proclaim the gospel. Celebrating Communion as we do, shows or re-enacts the Gospel story. Christ’s sacrifice, restored fellowship with God.
But I’m starting to think Francis went too far. One hallmark of the way we do the sacraments, is that the Word of God must accompany, explain and ground those sacraments. Actions do speak louder than words, but we shouldn’t rely on actions alone, and think we never have to speak. When God sent a famine on Israel or some other judgment, He sent prophets to explain why. When God acted for us at the cross of Christ, He made sure to write down an explanation in the NT.
This Supper needs some explaining. The basics are easy and found in 1 Cor 11:23-26 – the same night Jesus was betrayed, He gave His disciples bread and wine to eat and drink, telling them to do it to remember Him. And there is much rich truth to explore in this sacrament every week, connecting it to the word. As you share bread, and pass the tray of wine, share the life of Jesus with your neighbor as well.
Receive and rest on Christ alone today.