We had a dishwasher when I was a child – her name was “Mum”. Sorry about that. These days someone called “Bosch” takes care of things. Until yesterday. A rubber seal came away. My wife, handy as she is with a tube of glue, fixed it back into place. But 24 hours had to pass before we could unleash Bosch onto the dirty dishes.

Therefore Sunday saw the whole family at the sink, cleaning, drying and putting away. It was old school washing up and it felt strangely satisfying. Not everything good in life is about forward progress. There are times to retrieve something from the past and enjoy it once again. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Jesus asked us to celebrate communion together.

He told his followers, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:25 NIV11-GK). Is seems they were taking communion regularly in Corinth, if not entirely righteously!  However, Paul has no problem with the frequency. He simply wants them to remember the significance of communion – that it binds them together as one body to Christ.

Communion is so important because it takes us back to the heart of Christianity (and the heart of God) by reminding us of the cross. Worship styles vary, preaching modes change, service orders evolve, but the cross remains the same. Thus it is vital that whoever has the privilege of leading a congregation to the communion ‘table’ focusses not on guilt, nor shame, but joy.

Isn’t that what kept Jesus going? “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV11-GK). Yes, the cross is caused by our sin, but the message of the cross is of freedom, liberation and new life. “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4 NIV11-GK)

I make an appeal. If you are leading communion, carry us to Christianity’s core – the cross and invite us to share in Christ’s joy.

The dishwasher is fixed, but my feelings are mixed. Life is now ‘easier’, but will it be as rich?

Malcolm Cox