Phil Bauer is a church member who is currently serving time in the Federal Correctional Institution in Okdale, LA. As he is developing in his faith and seeking ways to serve God, I asked him to share a reflection with us about Communion. As we approach World Communion Sunday (October 1), consider our brothers and sisters in Christ who are far away as you also reflect on “What does communion mean to me?”
What Does Communion (The Lord’s Supper) Mean to Me?
by Phil Bauer
First let me say that the verses from Luke 22: 14-20 gives us the best description of that moment. Especially “And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them saying ’This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten saying “This cup that is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My Blood.” For these two verses is a promise that we all can partake in. As I partake of the bread, I see Christ being beaten, spit upon, slapped, whipped until parts of his flesh are torn away from the bone. Then the Cross, as he is laid out with his hands and arm stretched out and being nailed to it, as his feet in the same manner. Then the Cross being brought up for all to see. Through that show of love, Christ forgave us all at that time. Once he gave up his spirit, to make sure Christ was dead, a spear was pieced into his side, and water and blood flowed out. Christ paid it all for us! With this vision still my mind I reflect on His entire Life from birth, his Ministry, and all his trials and teachings.
What goes through my mind, I think of my life, mostly from the time or start of my incarceration, while in county jail for 2 1/2 years. I went to church services every Sunday, not once was Communion given. When I finally got here in Federal Prison, my first Sunday in February 2013, I went to Sunday service and at that time I was told they have communion, my heart was pounding hard in my chest, I was shaking. When communion was passed around and got to me, I was trembling bad. As I held the bread and cup, with my eyes closed and praying, that’s when the flood gates open up, tears and tears were coming down, not tears of sadness, but tears of Joy and Comfort. All this time in my mind I was thinking “How can I be worthy of taking of this cup of communion?” The answer came to me at that time. Only through Christ are we worthy to partake of His sacrificial death, burial and resurrection. We alone can’t do it.
One might be asking what does this have to do with “What does communion mean to me?” Well, brothers and sisters, it means for me: Love. Love — what Christ went through for me His entire Life — will always be there. I can always look to Him for everything and know his arms are wide open waiting for me to come and feel His presence all around me and in me.
In one of my studies, a quote I like is this, “He is both God and man, His death becomes the infinite sacrifice for sin and the gift of Life.” “(The Gospel of Mark by Rhoderick D. Ice, pg 70 from American Bible Academy). With this in mind I quote from Paul in I Cor 13:13 “So now faith, Hope, and Love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is Love” (ESV).
That’s what communion means to me, Christ’s unselfish Love. He paid it all for us at the Cross. So, “Do this in Remembrance of Me!”