But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot of blemish, and at peace. 1 Peter 3:13-14 [Advent Reading, Day Five]
Our congregation celebrates the communion each week. It’s part of our tradition, which we believe was part of the first church’s tradition, and so there you go.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Read that again.
Communion is an announcement. It’s a proclamation, though not made with words, but with behavior. We eat the bread and we drink from the cup, and in doing so we tell the story (again) of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Communion is the act of history-telling in this regard. Its behaviors make the statement about things that happened.
We proclaim the Lord’s death…
It is also a statement of hope, of something about the future, and how that future will arrive at his returning. Communion is the act of future-telling in this regard. Its behaviors make the statement about things that will happen.
…until he comes.
Communion has us stand quietly and patiently between two advents. Sunday after Sunday we look over our shoulders to the days of Christ’s first coming. And we look ahead to his promised return. It reshapes us into something that looks like hope. And hope brings with it a kind of focus to our living, the kind that doesn’t drift, but is marked by the diligence of those who know the future.
This is advent.
Nicene Creed, C.E. 381
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.