OK. Right now, I want you to tell me the phone number of a friend you talk with often on the phone. What is the number? Do you know it? I don’t know the numbers of my friends either. Isn’t that weird?
To this day, I can tell you the phone number of my friend who grew up across the street from me. I could type it on the phone right now without making a mistake. How can it possibly be that I CAN tell you a phone number I have not called in nearly 30 years (360 months for crying out loud!!!!) and yet I CAN’T tell you the phone number of a good friend I talked to just about every other day last week? That seems nuts to me . . . yet it has a simple explanation.
When I was a kid, there were no “contacts” on the phone bolted to the wall of my family’s dining room. When I wanted to call my friend, I had to pick up the phone and dial his number. When you make that phone call 300+ times in a year, every year for a decade, you tend to remember it for the rest of your life!
In today’s day and age, technology has allowed us a shortcut . . . where I can simply tap a picture or a name, and my phone makes the connection for me. With machines removing the numbers from my regular routine, I no longer know the phone numbers of my friends (after all, what would be the use?)
I tell you this today because in Matthew 26:17-29 Jesus reminds us of how we might be connected to God . . . through His blood “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28).” Jesus wants to make sure we have GOD in our “contacts” . . . but instead of just giving us His name and a picture, Jesus actually gave us a symbol for us to repeatedly do throughout our lives to remind us not just THAT we might be connected to God, but HOW that connection is possible. Like the powerful teaching moment of repeatedly typing in a phone number, Jesus takes bread and wine and tells us that we should eat and drink these elements often to remember the NUMBER (or better) the way that we are connected to God. It is through Jesus’ death on the cross for us that we have life . . . and the cup and plate of communion are instituted as repeated reminders to help us never forget.
This Sunday at Wildwood, we will be looking at the night Jesus first instituted the “Lord’s Supper” so we might never forget what Jesus has done for you and for me. This message will be part 3 of our “Defeating Death” sermon series. Of course, we will also be having the Lord’s Supper as a part of our worship this weekend as well. Make plans to join us in our 9:45 or 11:00 service. After all, there is GREAT USE in remembering how our connection with God is made.