*written by Maribeth Malahy

We tend to be a culture that celebrates everything. My family is no different. We celebrate opening day for baseball, Rex Manning day, Pi day and the list goes on. Honestly, not everything we celebrate at our house is important, but the act of celebrating is.

Celebrating or observing an event is done because it holds significance to us. It is a time to pause, a way to remember.

This is exactly what Jesus and the twelve disciples were doing on the night before his death. They were remembering the Passover. The Passover meal was eaten every year to remember how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body.”  Matthew 26:26

Jesus knew this would be his last Passover dinner on earth. And just like how we create traditions as we honor things from the past, he does the same. He starts by washing the disciples feet and continues by teaching. Jesus uses the bread and the wine to help the disciples understand what is about to take place, that he would become the sacrificial lamb. That his blood (wine) would be poured out and his body broken (bread). It feels so simple to us now because to many of us, communion has been a part of our lives since we were young, but in that moment, Jesus was creating a new way of observing. He was pouring meaning into a simple task that he knew the disciples would do every day. We have to eat to survive and, at the time, bread and wine were common, everyday foods. Jesus knew he would be providing an easy way for his friends to remember him and his life, a constant reminder keeping what Jesus did for us in the forefront of our thoughts. So as we continue this tradition of remembering, let us not get lost in the simplicity of the act, but in the complexity of the meaning.