While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.Mark 14:22-23
Dear members and friends,
The Sacrament of Holy Supper or Communion is one of the two most significant rituals for all Christians. As it has been ritualized for over 2,000 years, all Christians practice Communion at their sanctuary in a very formal and respectable manner. However, when we actually think about how Jesus had his last supper with his disciples, we may be surprised. We read in Gospels that Jesus had a very simple and normal meal with the disciples at someone else’s home. According to Swedenborg, home or a house symbolizes a human mind. Thus, Jesus having the last supper at the house of an anonymous person symbolizes the ritual of Communion must happen within the minds of all humans for the sake of their own spiritual well-being. It has often been said that we participate in religious rituals for the sake of God. For example, to give adoration to God. However, what the Bible and especially Jesus emphasizes over and over again is not what humans must do for God’s sake, but for their own sake.
For his final evening on earth, Jesus could have done any number of activities with his disciples, but he chose to have a meal with them. And this last meal is named as the Last Supper, which gave birth to the Holy Supper or Communion. Through the last supper, Jesus lifts up the importance of eating together, or more precisely, sharing food together. Of course, the focus of the last supper is the act of eating. According to Jesus, our physical body depends on two simple acts, eating and drinking. Eating brings nutrients to our body, while drinking brings water to our body. According to Swedenborg, eating symbolizes the cultivation of good, which is the primary nutrient to our spirit. Drinking symbolizes the cultivation of truth, which is the secondary nutrient to our spirit. This is why Jesus breaks bread first, and then pours the wine. Also, this is why Jesus emphasizes, “Take, eat. This is my body.” Spiritually reflecting, the body of Jesus is pure goodness. Consequently, the entirety of heaven is made of all that is good from the body of Creator. Thus, without cultivating such goodness within our spirit, meaning becoming a part of heaven, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
My brothers and sisters in God, let us take a moment and reflect on the health of our body and our spirit. What have we done that nurtures the health of our body? And, what have we done that nurtures the health of our spirit? If you find one or both lacking, just take a moment and do something that is nurturing.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee