As we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, our focus is on the Great Commandment. We know Jesus’ words so well: “‘And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” But, sadly, in spite of the clarity of these words, in spite of Jesus’ claim that the whole of the Scripture is summarized in these words, we still struggle to make this commandment the focus of our faith and life.
The Great Commandment is not two commandments, of course. Loving God and loving each other are inseparably linked. The love that Jesus speaks about here is not an emotion. It is not just saying the words “I love you.” For Jesus, loving another person means to honor her or his value as a human being and as valuable to God, and to express this in actions of service, respect and kindness. Love is always expressed in action. Of course, this is much harder than following the law. Love requires true engagement with the other person. It requires sensitivity, curiosity, interest, compassion, and a willingness to extend ourselves for the other person. Love is messy and unpredictable and costly, but love is also the only place where true life can be found.
Sharing the Lord’s Supper
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
(Take the Bread)
In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
(Take the Cup)