A Personal Communion

  • March 7, 2018
  • #9353

Because of her quadriplegia, Joni cannot take communion by herself; she always needs help. And it's a reminder that communion with Jesus includes communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Communion table

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Joni and Friends.

This past weekend, we celebrated communion at our church; I always love the chance to take Communion, to remember the Lord through the bread and the wine. In fact, as we took it this past weekend it reminded me of a song, I think it was from the 80’s. We used to sing it all the time — maybe some of you might remember it. It went like this:

Let us break bread together on our knees, (on our knees)
Let us break bread together on our knees. (on our knees)
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.*

Do you remember that? I sure do. And I always find myself humming it when I take communion. Because there are many things about the Lord Jesus — His birth, His ministry, His resurrection, His coming again, but in scripture, He asks us to "remember His death until He comes." It's only His journey to the cross that He tells us never, ever to forget.

For me, Communion is also special because of who I take it with. Usually, almost always, it's with my husband, Ken. And although I cannot "break bread together on my knees," like this song goes, I can’t tear the bread with my hands; I can’t drop to my knees, but I can bow my heart before the Lord sitting in this wheelchair. When the cup is passed, Ken reaches into the tray and gently takes two cups; one for him, and then he holds mine. And then, when our pastor tells us to, first he gives me my cup, and then Ken takes his. Same with the bread; Ken holds it until everyone has theirs and then, together, first he gives me the cracker and then he takes his.

I love that. I not only remember the Lord Jesus and the oneness I have with Him through His death, but, in a way, I celebrate being one with the brother — or it may be a sister at times if Ken isn't there — I celebrate my oneness with the Christian who feeds me the bread and cup. I can't take Communion by myself. That is so important. I need a member of the body. It's a beautiful picture (I think) of the way Christ's death and resurrection has knit us together and made us one; depending on each other, needing and relying on one another, serving each other, the weak and the strong bound together through giving and receiving.

One day, in heaven, when I finally do have the chance to fall on my knees (literally) and take Communion if I wanted to by myself with my own hands, I will not have to! There'll be no more need to remember the Lord until He comes; for He will have come! Until then, I lean hard on my brothers and my sisters — I lean on my husband Ken — I lean on the Lord for every ounce of grace to be gained from the bread and the cup. It’s why I never want to miss Communion. If I know the bread and the cup are being offered that Sunday, I want to be there. And I thank God for the oneness in Christ; I thank God for the body of believers all because of what Jesus did at the cross. So next time you celebrate Communion and you fall on your knees with your face to the rising sun and you ask the Lord to have mercy on you, remember His death and also remember the one sitting next to you — your brother or sister in Jesus, without whom you just couldn’t make it. God bless you as you remember next time and celebrate Communion.

* Music: "Let Us Break Bread Together." Public Domain. 

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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