Once every year, and for the past two thousand fifteen years or so, Christians everywhere celebrate the birth of Jesus, the long awaited Messiah as foretold in the prophecies of the Old Testament.
Church tradition has appointed December 25th as His birth date, in the town of Bethlehem Ephratah of Judea, as Micah 5:2 says:
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
How rich and blessed this Messianic prophecy that speaks of His first coming that has already been fulfilled. Yet this passage also tells us of His future glory when He will come again and be the ruler, the King of Israel. There was no Israel at the time when Micah wrote this prophecy or at the time of the birth of Jesus. Has it gotten to the point that at the malls or any department store at Christmas time, the lines of children and parents waiting to see Santa are always long; but where are the lines for Jesus for whom the celebration is all about? Is this the height of our capacity to remember Him?
Fortunately, He has given us a more perfect way to remember Him. This pattern of remembrance was set in motion centuries ago in Jerusalem at the feast of unleavened bread-the Passover Feast. Here Jesus was with His twelve disciples in an upper room of a house during the passover meal. Do you remember the words He spole to His disciples? They are recorded in the Gospels. We celebrate this sacred act on Sundays at church as the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and break it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
Therefore, we can and should honor and remember our Lord and Savior not just once each year, but as often as possible through this most blessed institution of Holy Communion-the Lord’s Supper. He died for us, can we not do as He commanded, “in rememberance of Him?” May it ever be so in these days. Amen.