Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life...
Well this was certainly a controversial statement when Jesus uttered it and remains so even now. The reaction initially thinned out His following significantly because many just could not fathom such a statement. The early church suffered persecution for many reasons, including these words. Jesus was not suggesting a theology of cannibalism; He was making a statement, that for me, begins to emphasize our need to injest Christ into the depths of our being.
We are told that we need to abide in Him, we are told that He is in us, if we believe in Him, and we in Him. He has sent the Spirit of God to instruct and begin the process of sanctification. Yet, it is this Christ who is supremely capable, due to His incarnation, to understand the lives we lead and heal our brokenness and sin. To learn about Christ and develop solely an external understanding of who He is, without a relationship of the heart, leaves us wanting and incomplete. We have no chance at the real joy He has promised to us.
This brings me to communion. Now I wouldn't want to wax on the debate of transubstantiation or con-transubstantiation, but I do believe that the process of taking the bread and the juice, in whatever way and at whatever interval, is more than just a chance to remember and recognize the Lord, more than just a few moments of communication with Him on a Sunday. I have come to look at it as an injestion of Christ into my depths, into the parts of me that are broken and sinful. I find that I have come to believe that it represents the true relationship with Him, a genuine abiding into the heart.
Now I have work to do during those moments of receiving Him. Sometimes, I am guilty of taking communion without focusing. It is more, I think, than an opportunity to say thank you, it is a chance to welcome Him, to provide total access to Him, to celebrate His presence where once there was just an empty space. Awaking each day with the clear understanding that He has tabernacled within our hearts brings a very different set of goals and desires. We are being changed into those like Christ. We need never do that without His presence in us. He abides when He is welcomed.
It is where He belongs! We are His!