March 28, 2024

Holy Week: Beyond Ritual—Covenant Meets Community

A devotional for Maundy Thursday

by Dan Lawrence


1 Corinthians 11:23–26

Beyond Ritual—Covenant Meets Community

This, do in remembrance of me.” —1 Corinthians 11:24 (KJV)

When reflecting on the Last Supper, we’re influenced by the imagery of Da Vinci—13 men reclined around a long table, Jesus takes the bread and cup and utters, “Do this in remembrance of me.” It’s something the Church has replicated ever since. However, what if the this that Jesus was talking about was much more than just a sip of juice and a bite of bread?

This refers to the whole meal around a table with other apprentices of Jesus—Jesus Himself as Rabbi, Teacher, and Host.

After all, communion means community. Originally, this was not meant to be somber, individualistic, or introspective. The Early Church understood this—for them, it was a full meal around a table in someone’s home. For the disciples, the Lord’s Supper was not something to begin doing but instead a continuation of Jesus’ ministry.

At the table, past, present, and future comes together. We look backwards—not just to the Cross but to the person of Christ. All of Jesus! Today, we embrace Jesus’ continued presence at the table through the Spirit, simultaneously looking forward to our Coming King. It’s no surprise that the future imagery of the Kingdom is a feast.

This table is also a covenant, a promise—not just to God but to each other. An action of rededication, we collectively voice our commitment to live lives worthy of the gospel. We vow once again to take up our cross, call Jesus “Lord,” and follow Him into the world.

The tearing of bread is a template to pour our entire lives out. As His apprentices, how do we love the world? We give up all that we are for the good of others, following Jesus’ example.

This isn’t just dinner; this is Communion. This is a way of life together.

May we do this in remembrance of Him.

Prayer Prompt

Take a moment and sit at the table with Jesus. Reflect on who He has been, who He is, and who He promises to be. Embrace His presence in your life, then look around you—what other apprentices of Christ have been placed in your life? God’s invitation to the table is a life of unity and togetherness. Have you walked in this? What’s holding you back?

Jesus, thank You for drawing near to me. Help me to draw near to You. Help me to recognize Your Spirit’s presence in my life. Lord, thank You for Your love. Help me to see others as loved by You—may I give my attention to them. Forgive me for trying to follow You on my own. Grow in me a desire for genuine biblical community. Together, may we emulate You, living poured out lives for the good of others. Amen.