Original photo ‘Bread and Wine’, copyright ingridhs
On His final mortal night with His specially chosen disciples, Jesus shared a Passover meal; introducing a new rite with bread and wine. The event itself has become known as the Last Supper. The new ordinance Christ introduced that night continues in most Christian churches today, and is usually called Communion, or the Eucharist. Within the LDS tradition, it is called the Sacrament.
A few months ago I posted a short poem about the Sacrament, but I’d like to spend a little more time sharing more of my thoughts and feelings on this beautiful ordinance, looking more broadly at the ordinance’s introduction before specifically looking at some of the symbolism used. I will specifically be looking at the LDS ‘version’ of the Sacrament, but I think many of the principles could have application in other faiths, too. If you’re not LDS and have questions about any differences, please feel free to send me a message or add a comment and I’ll be happy to reply.
The New Testament account of the introduction of the Sacrament shows us how the Saviour adapted it from the Passover meal, linking so beautifully the old law with the new. Jesus didn’t destroy the Law of Moses when He came. Rather, He brought with Him new light; new understanding; more blessings. It was a transition from one true gospel to a higher version of the same. His teachings of the Sacrament to His disciples were amongst the last He gave. It’s worth thinking about that. He had spent three years ministering, teaching and healing. Over that time He had carefully expanded the spiritual horizons of his chosen Apostles; giving them line upon line. And at the end of that time, when the Atonement itself lay immediately before Him and He would soon depart mortality, He taught them of the Sacrament. Continue reading →
This post is a little more rambling than usual, so I apologise for that. Hopefully I’ll still be able to make the point I want to.
I often think that when we get to the next life and see things as they really are; when the scales of our mortal blindness fall from our eyes, that we will be surprised with both how much simpler things were than we thought, as well as how much more complex. If that sounds contradictory, let me explain.
We spend our lives running to and fro. We have gadgets that improve our efficiency, but the result is we feel pressure to get ever more done. Our children must be in after-school clubs. We must be available for our employers 24/7. Work is increasingly demanding, while so are the requirements to fit society’s standards of good parenting. And then we add church responsibilities, social activities, and so on, and so on. We spend so much time and effort on these things when our main purpose in life is really the much simpler “Come, follow me.” Not easy, for sure, but simple. I’m sure that when I kneel at a future day before my Saviour and look back at my mortal journey I will say some variation of “Oops”, as I recognise how much time and stress I wasted on things that really didn’t matter. Continue reading →
Many Christian religions have rituals that remind us of Christ: His life, teachings and atonement. Within the LDS Church, one of these is the Sacrament – a weekly partaking of bread and water, following the pattern of the Last Supper when He gave bread and wine to His disciples instructing them to remember Him. In other Christian religions a similar ritual may occur, perhaps called Holy Communion, or something similar. The Sacrament takes on such an important meaning for us that our main Sunday worship meeting is called “Sacrament Meeting”.
For many years, with a constant stream of small children on laps, at feet, and generally requiring attention, concentrating on the meaning and importance of the Sacrament during our Sunday worship meetings was something of an impossibility. But now they are older, it can once again (usually) have the attention it deserves.
An altar of wood,
Adorned with emblems
Clothed in white
Tokens of a sacrifice
Made long ago
And made anew
Continue reading →