Communion in the mystical body and blood of Christ is one of the means Jesus has left us to know and enter more fully into the life of God. We use a particular form of prayers called “the liturgy” to guide us in our service of Holy Communion, also called The Eucharist (which is a Greek word meaning, Thanksgiving), or the Lord’s Supper, or in some traditions, the Mass or Divine Liturgy.
The whole of Scripture, from its beginning in earthly paradise to its culmination with the descent of the heavenly Jerusalem adorned as a bride ready for her bridegroom, describes God’s purposes of uniting us with him in a bond of spiritual marriage – that “we may evermore dwell in him and he in us”. Jesus brings this about by his life, death, resurrection and ascension. (see, for example, Genesis 2 and its interpretation by St. Paul in Ephesians 5; Proverbs 3-9; The Song of Songs; Wisdom 7-8; Isaiah 54; Jeremiah 3, 12, 31; Ezekiel 16; Hosea; Matthew 9:15; 22:2-14; 25:1-13; Luke 14:7-11; John 2:1-11; 3:29, Revelation 21.)
The Liturgy is about this love affair with God – God is the Lover and we are God’s beloved. The songs of praise and the readings and preaching and prayers are organized in each service in such a way to guide us into an ever deeper union of our souls and bodies with God. The service is organized chronologically to follow the movements of God towards us in history – first in the Old Covenant, presenting to us the Ten Commandments or Summary of the Law, then in the New, beginning with the words of the Apostles and then Jesus’ words, and finally presenting his death, resurrection and ascension. You will notice that as we go through the liturgy there is a back and forth conversation between God and each one of us, leading to Holy Communion.
Communion with God is the life of heaven, which we begin to participate in from our baptism, and come to know more fully as we mature in Christ in this life.
For further reading, click here for a sermon on Holy Communion.