'For as long as you eat this bread, and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.'
You proclaim the Lord's death.
You do not salvage the relevance of His death from the redundancy of the centuries; you proclaim it.
You do not rescue His death from the threat of trivialization; you proclaim it.
You do not release His death from the repetition of rote religiosity; you proclaim it.
He never asked for pyramids to be built, for magnificent cathedrals to be erected, for a crystal sarcophagus inlaid with gold, for splinters of his cross to be carried around in gold inlaid chests.
He asked to be remembered with bread and wine.
Why? Why, when the rulers of this world demand grand memorials, why did the Ruler of rulers and the King of kings ask for bread and wine?
Why after eating crackers and juice for 2,000 years does He not need me to rescue the relevance of His death?
It is because across the vast constellation of the innumerable deaths that mark the panoply of the entire history of humanity, the death of Jesus Christ stands alone, separate, absolutely unique and singular.
A few weeks ago my daughter stood in this very spot and proclaimed this very thing. Perhaps it was the quietness of her manner; perhaps it was the very novelty of her speech, but she was heartsick to hear that the words she spoke evoked in some who listened consternation that obscured the very point she was trying to make.
But we can't miss that point. That point is absolutely essential.
That point lies at the very heart of why we have been doing this for 2,000 years.
You see, there have been in the course of history many notable deaths.
Many noble, and ignoble deaths. Countless famous, infamous, and un-noticed deaths.
Deaths that had great impact. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The death of Joseph Stalin. The death of John F. Kennedy, Adolf Hitler. The deaths of Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa.
The deaths of thousands of young men who stormed the beaches of Normandy.
The deaths of a few young men who stormed the cabin of Flight 93, preventing it from falling upon the White House.
The deaths of terrorists who flew their planes into the towers and the Pentagon.
Deaths that shaped the future of nations, and changed the course of history itself.
Ahh….but with this bread and with this wine we proclaim a death unique from all other deaths. We celebrate the death of One who not only changed the course of history, but whose death altered all of eternity.
The One who lay down his own life willingly, and in so doing destroyed death itself.
The One who trampled the gates of hell and set the captives free.
The One who tore the veil that separated God from man, so that every man might enter into the Holy of Holies and behold the face of God.
The One whose death caused the gates of Heaven itself to cry out, 'Who is this King of Glory? Who is this King of Glory? '
'The Lord, strong and mighty. The Lord of Hosts, the Lord strong and mighty.'
The Lord God Almighty, whose death upon that tree opened the gates of heaven that man might enter in and live in the presence of his Creator forevermore.
And he doesn't need my inspiring speeches to perpetuate the relevance of His death.
He doesn't need me to say just the right words to salvage His death from obscurity.
In fact, He doesn't need me at all.
I should be able to set this cracker and this juice on my table at home, all alone, and be moved to examine my heart in relation to His desires for my life.
To cry out, 'Search my heart, Oh, God, and see if there be in me any wicked way! '
When I consider that these simple elements represent God wrapping Himself in human flesh, walking among us, and giving Himself for us—that God died for me—then I should be moved to worship and thanksgiving.
If, in such contemplation, I find that I am not so moved, then it is not because the person in this position has not been inspiring enough, and it is not because the worship team failed to adequately perform their duties.
No, it is likely because my heart has become hard, and my eyes have become dull.
Father, soften my heart so that when I hear the words of your son, 'This bread is my body, broken for you, take and eat, ' I will take and eat with a thankful heart, joyfully proclaiming the death of One who died in my place, and will return one day to establish peace and righteousness forever.
To take the cup, and hear his voice, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which wipes out every accusation against you; that which cleanses you from all unrighteousness; that which writes the name of God upon your heart for all eternity, ' as I raise my little cup and my little piece of bread to the heavens and proclaim the death that makes all death irrelevant.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem