“For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread,
and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,
‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me’.”
(1 Corinthians 11:23-24)
This Sunday, we will observe a liturgical ritual that was handed to Paul, who handed it on to his churches, who in turn handed it down — from church to church and age to age — to everyone who breaks the bread and shares the cup in remembrance of Jesus Christ. For over a year, we have observed the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as best we could. Our tables may have been separated by time and distance, but as the bread was broken and the cup was poured, we were still connected by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Many of you will continue that virtual practice this Sunday, because there are still many risks associated with COVID-19. Some of you still feel vulnerable for a variety of very legitimate reasons, and you are just not quite ready to return to crowded places. While we continue to miss you (or, speaking for myself, I cannot wait to meet you), we honor and respect the decisions you are making for your health and for the safety of others. Moreover, even those of us who will gather in the sanctuary of Larchmont Avenue Church on Sunday will see that certain modifications are still needed in order to share the bread and the cup safely and responsibly.
My main point, however, is this: no matter what differences we may perceive, no matter what adjustments or adaptations may be necessary, none of it will hinder the real gift of the sacrament. Wherever we may be, we will all still be bound together by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the love of Christ, “which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:14). As we share the gifts of God together, blest be that tie that binds!