I just got home from the last session of the Bible study I’ve been in this year—lesson 32 of Disciple 3: Remember Who You Are. It was a wonderful study, the best yet of the Disciple series.
We had a covered dish dinner and then we did our lesson. After we finished talking about the readings for this week, we had communion together, using a beautiful handmade chalice and dish, grape juice, and a small loaf of homemade bread. We had communion by intinction which is explained at this very good linked site, in case you want to read about it (scroll down, down); to do that, we took a pinch of bread and dipped it into the juice.
Our pastor’s wife made the communion cup and plate on a potter’s wheel, using lumps of clay. She made the colors herself, experimenting until she got them just right, so that after they were fired in the kiln, they would look the way she wanted them to look.
The inside of the chalice is dark red, exactly the shade of red grape juice or wine. On the outside, the dark red appears spilled down the side, and it fades into a lighter shade of the same color. The deep red becomes a light wheat color. Then the bottom of the cup is blue, the shade of the deepest sky blue.
To me, the red symbolizes the blood of Christ held in the chalice and the “wheat” shade, his body in the bread. In communion, we remember. We pledge ourselves again to love him, to live our lives for him.
I always think of Jesus offering the cup to his disciples, saying “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” He told them, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
What is the new covenant? It was the new agreement instituted by God through Jesus that people would no longer have to engage in animal sacrifice to have their sins forgiven. Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice, given by God, for the forgiveness of human sin. It’s a marvelous, no-strings-attached gift to us.