At the Last Supper, Jesus equated the broken bread with his body and the cup with his blood which is the blood of the covenant. Covenants were agreements between two parties that in ancient times were often sealed in blood.
Jesus claimed his blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins. This is his part of the covenant. We gain forgiveness from what he did. But what is our part? Since covenants involve two parties, there should be something that we do to fulfill the covenant. Obviously there is nothing we can do to earn our forgiveness–Jesus has already done that.
We call the Lord’s Supper the Eucharist which is from the Greek word meaning “to give thanks.” To truly celebrate the Eucharist is to seize the moment to remember what Jesus has done and, as a result, to be genuinely, deeply, overwhelmingly thankful. Being so thankful will change our lives. This is our part of the covenant.
–Dr. Mitzi Minor
- The last time you celebrated the Eucharist, did you “do your part” of the covenant? Were you thankful?
- How has your gratitude to Jesus for doing his part of the covenant so that your sins are forgiven changed your life? Or has it changed your life?
- Sometimes when someone does something for us we feel more obligated to them than thankful. What is the difference? What prompts one response or the other? Which response do you have toward Jesus for what he did?
- What are covenant relationships we have today? What feelings do covenant partners have when the covenant relationship is honored? What feelings are aroused when a covenant relationship is betrayed?
How Do I Act?
- Recall someone you feel especially thankful to–a parent, teacher, friend, etc. Examine how your thankfulness affects the way you relate to that person. Let them know of your thankfulness and remind them of specific events in your relationship that have led you to being thankful for them.
- What are concrete ways you express your thankfulness to others? What are concrete ways to express your thankfulness to God? Discuss these with a friend and make a list of ways to demonstrate your thankfulness to God and to others, and plan to do some of these things this week.
- Plan some ways you can encourage your church to truly celebrate the Eucharist, to “do their part” of the covenant. Some examples would be special readings, meditations, and/or music before or during the service, material for the church newsletter about the Lord’s Supper, teaching the youth and children the meaning of the covenant, etc. Talk to your pastor about contributing.