‘Do this in remembrance of Me’

What a blessing it is to live in northwest Alabama! Among the many reasons I treasure this area is that most years, we experience just enough of each season to have me ready for the next one. We now have the arrival of spring – this amazing time of year when temperatures climb and God’s creation begins to come back to life.

Pollen notwithstanding, the spring colors are beautiful, and that first Saturday of working in the yard is a day I always look forward to. Both students and teachers begin to anticipate the conclusion of yet another school year, and in the meantime, high school baseball and softball have become “can’t miss” spring events in Franklin County.

I am also thankful for spring because it includes Easter, when more people than usual spend time thinking about Jesus and what his sacrifice means for their lives.

Some folks observe Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline designed to help participants reflect on Christ in the days leading up to Easter. While the observance of Lent isn’t a practice documented in the New Testament as being observed by the first-century church, most would agree that all of us need more spiritual discipline in our lives, not less.

Thankfully God, in his infinite wisdom, has revealed his plan for keeping our focus on Jesus and what his sacrifice must mean for our lives.

On the night of his betrayal, Jesus took unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine and instituted what is commonly referred to as the Lord’s Supper. In Luke 22:19, Jesus stated, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” In 1 Corinthians 11:27-32, Paul revealed that the observance of the Lord’s Supper is also a time of spiritual self-examination – one that should prevent spiritual weakness and sickness.

According to Acts 20:7, the first-century church gathered on the first day of the week, and during those gatherings they partook of the Lord’s Supper. When the New Testament is examined in its entirety, it appears God has called Christians to engage in this important act of worship on a weekly basis.

And it makes perfect sense. Would anyone disagree that in the life of a Christian, the need for spiritual discipline is constant?

In 1 Corinthians 9:27, the apostle Paul wrote about his ongoing effort to bring his life into subjection to God. He said, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

I am thankful for Easter, but Jesus instituted his Supper to magnify him and strengthen us on a weekly basis. My prayer is that all Jesus followers would observe his supper every first day of the week!

Goad is the minister at North Highlands Church of Christ in Russellville. He writes Faith Focus for the bi-monthly Franklin Living magazine.