Day 31: Shoeboxes

Read: Matthew 26:26-29

There are so many beautiful little moments that happen in our lives that are worth holding onto. Right now I have 2 or 3 shoeboxes sitting in my closet that are full of old journals, photographs, and notes. At the beginning of every new season of my life, I take part in a ritual that is very sacred to me. I sit down on the floor, open up the shoeboxes and comb through the contents. I read back through my thoughts, my struggles, and my pains. I smile at old polaroids I took of my friends in high school. I often cry as I read the words I don’t feel I deserve written in the handwriting of people who I have dearly loved. There is something about the tangibleness of the contents of my shoebox that gets me. There is something about the pain and joys of the past that resituates me in the present.

In Matthew 26:26-29, Jesus begins a ritual that has continued to this day. Though many traditions have different views and approaches to communion, the Lord’s Supper has continued to be a defining aspect of the Christian life. It strikes me odd the way the Lord asks his disciples and us to remember Him. Jesus asks his disciples to remember Him before He is resurrected and wins the victory. He breaks unleavened bread and asks them to partake in it that they may remember His broken body. He then passes a cup of wine and asks them to drink it and remember His blood that is about to be shed. I don’t know about you, but this is a kind of odd, slightly creepy, way to remember someone.

Yet there is something very beautiful here that Jesus is asking us to partake in. The ritual of communion does not have us celebrate our victorious King, but our suffering Saviour. In the partaking of communion, we are participating with a God who has suffered as we have. In the way that I read back through journals to situate myself into my present reality, Communion situates us into the narrative of Scripture, a narrative that involves a God who can sympathize with our suffering and weakness, because He Himself has suffered. That means that when we suffer, we can bring our suffering to a God who deeply understands our pain.

The next time you take communion, reflect on the broken nature of Jesus. Think of the way he was broken physically, emotionally, and spiritually so that you could be made new. Ask him to enter into your brokenness. You don’t have to be afraid. He can relate to you.

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