My particular church observes the Sacrament of Holy Communion at nearly every service. This means that several times per week, the rite of Holy Eucharist is observed, and is the primary focal point of the church experience. It is a deep honor and privilege for parishioners to unite with Christ in this sacred ritual. Even if your own church does not celebrate Communion weekly, it is a tremendously important component of Christian life. In nearly every Christian tradition and denomination, Communion is revered as one of the highest of all sacraments.
Why is Communion so important?
One reason that Communion is so important is because it provides a reminder that Christ's body was broken for sinners as a means of our redemption.
Ritually speaking, there are many important moments within the Eucharistic service. However, one of the most supremely important moments is when the priest holds up a consecrated Communion wafer (or bread) for all to see, and then breaks it. When the wafer is broken, one is immediately put in mind of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. Your church may observe the breaking of the bread differently, but nonetheless, it is still broken.
Christ's blood was spilled, and his body was broken.
There is great solemnity in remembering the sacrifice of Christ, in whom there was no wrong. This spotless, sinless Savior was crucified to atone for the sins of all humanity. In the exact moment when the Communion bread is broken, we are immediately put on notice that Christ's sacrifice was for us. His body was broken for our sins. This is not some abstract theological notion. It is very real. It is here and now.
Every time Communion is served, something is broken. The bread is broken. Christ's body is broken. Our hearts and minds are broken from the weight of our sins. And once, God's heart was so broken from our sins that He felt compelled to send His only Son to redeem us.
The good news is that there is no break that cannot be healed.
The broken bread given in the Communion service can strengthen and bind us together as we solemnly memorialize Christ's death and resurrection. However, Christ's broken body is now healed and glorified. Sin, death and hell can no longer keep us captive because of the atoning work of Christ. Yes, something was broken, but everything that was broken will also be mended.
The next time you have the opportunity to observe Holy Communion, notice that the Communion bread is broken, but the very act of breaking it allows the bread to be distributed to the congregation. In other words, it must first be broken to do any good.
What can we learn from a simple piece of broken Communion bread?
We learn that whatever is broken in our lives, regardless of what it may be, it can be healed by the divine hand of God. There is ample healing for everything we will ever need, in this life and the next. And the most important level of healing–the healing of our souls–has already been accomplished through the grace of Jesus Christ.
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