By Alex Florez
My church has a beautiful way of framing the experience of receiving communion: at the table of the Lord’s Supper, we renew a beautiful cycle of “remembering and proclaiming.” We humbly kneel as we remember the gravity and power of what Jesus did for us. We then rise, eager to go forth and proclaim the goodness of God. Whatever your view of the nature of transubstantiation, all believers can agree that something beautiful and mysterious happens at the Lord’s Table. The words remember and proclaim help me make sense of the mystery. They inspire me to delight in the goodness of God. They encourage me to share the good news of the gospel in every area of my life to anyone who will listen.
For centuries prior to Jesus’s life on earth, God’s people participated in myriad other activities and rituals that helped them remember and convicted them to proclaim. In Joshua 4, God instructed the people to use a series of stones from the Jordan River to serve as a memorial to God’s faithfulness. The stones would spark conversation between generations about how God delivered His people from slavery in Egypt to the promise of rest and freedom in His presence—from wandering in the wilderness to security and provision in the land of milk and honey.
God’s people observed another notable sign of His faithfulness, one that left an indelible physical mark on the men of Israel. Circumcision was the sign of the covenant with Abraham that someday God would bless all the nations of the world through the family of this one man. Just as the result of circumcision cannot be reversed, neither could God’s promise be nullified. The redemption of His covenant people was always, and still is, the end game for God, and circumcision became a daily reminder of His redemption.
While these three examples—communion, the memorial stones, and circumcision—serve to help us remember and proclaim, they are certainly not the only means to those ends. What has God done in your heart since you received the gift of faith in Jesus and began the process of sanctification initiated by His mercy and grace? Do you see evidence of transformation in your own life? Are you categorically different now that you have been crucified with Christ?
In my own life, there are still residual sins and thought patterns that hearken unto my “pre-Jesus” condition. Still, I know this to be true: if you are in Christ, you are a child of God, and as such, you have a beautiful story of redemption to tell. “This is so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD’s hand is strong” (Joshua 4:24). With that in mind, let us remember and proclaim all that He has done.