Communion Memorial

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Communion Memorial
Text: Joshua 3:14-4:24
Occasion: Communion
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: memorial, Communion
Author: WABuisman


We need memorials to remember what God has done in our lives.

How to Get There

  • The Israelites had experienced a great miracle, something that paved the way for their nation to be born.
  • But God knew that they would soon forget it unl;ess they had a memorial, some way of remembering what happened.
  • A memorial helps us remember what happened, but is only as good as our fidelity to it.
  • Memorial Day, for instance, is useless unless we actually honor our veterens and those who have come before us.
  • A memorial is only good if it is used to help us remember what it was built for. The Israelites kept their stones, their memorials, but didn't keep their meaning.
  • And God calls those people a stench to his nose, when they follow the rules without dealing with the meaning.
  • We need memorials, just as the Israelites did, because we need to remember what God has done.
    • Memorials help us remember how great God is (verse 24)
    • They help us have a way to share those experiences with others (verse 21)
    • They give us something to hang onto when we are struggling.
  • If we do not have memorials of God's work in our lives, then we will have nothing to remind us when we need them later.
  • Communion is one of the ways we have traditionally connected with God's actions in the past.
    • Transubstantiation: Elements Actually Transformation into Christ (Catholic and Eastern Orthodox)
    • Pneumatic: Real Presence in Spirit (Episcopal)
    • Consubstantiation: Elements and Christ are together (Lutheran)
    • Means of Grace: Elements don't change, but God gives us his Grace (Methodist/Nazarene)
    • Symbolists: Elements Don't Change, they're just symbols of Past and Present (Baptist)
    • Memorialists: Nothing Spiritual, just remembering Christ's Sacrifice (Quaker)

Things to Watch For

  • Many traditions do not hold that communion is a "memorial" or at the very least, is not only a memorial. But memorials can not only remind us of Go's actions in the past but they can also connect us to God's actions in the present.
  • Communion is not the only memorial. We need many different ways, some personal and some corporate, to remind us what God has done in the Church and in our lives. Helping people to come up with memorials for their lives is very important but difficult.
  • But memorials are only as good as the meaning we put into them. The Israelites needed them, we need them. But we need to not just do them but remember the meaning that stands behind them.

Other Ideas that use this Topic:

Eucharistic Love FeastThat communion can connect us with God.Experiential Learning