Celebration! Holy Communion: A Love Story

The description of heaven in a number of places in the Bible is as a wedding feast, and the Church is referred to and alluded to as the Bride of Christ. This provides an interesting perspective to the “foretaste of heaven,” Holy Communion: newlywed love suggests excitement, enthusiasm, eagerness, delight – a thorough enjoyment of each other.

What if this describes Jesus’ focus every time He comes to join His Bride, particularly in Holy Communion? Too often we are so focused on the human side when we talk about this great Sacrament that the intensity of His desire is seemingly ignored, yet it is Jesus Who gave us this Sacrament, and He expresses strong eagerness when He says to His disciples, “With great earnestness I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you” [Luke 22:15].

What if Jesus is indeed that Bridegroom “Who rejoices over His Bride” [Isaiah 62:5] already, not only at the Last Day? What if Jesus comes to Communion, the foretaste of the heavenly marriage feast of the Lamb [Revelation 19:7,9], with excitement and enthusiasm and delight, eager to be with her – us! – once again, eager to hear once again the voice of His Beloved as He speaks of His Love to her?
Yes, forgiveness is a big element in this Sacrament, yet it only is the beginning of the relationship, as it opens the door to the intensity of the delight and of the Love that is to be found in this union of the Bridegroom with His Bride – and it is indeed a union.

How would this image speak to our perspective about what goes on in Holy Communion – or should be going on?

Communion is a Cinderella story that outdoes Disney. It is the thrilling coming together of two people very much in Love. It contains an energy and a joy that flies in the face of the somberness that so often characterizes this extraordinary event. It speaks not of fear but of the yearning of the Bridegroom for His Bride, and of her yearning for Him. It goes beyond the formality and into the exuberance of the newlywed.

But just who is this Bride? Who is to be found within her? What does Jesus have in mind and how should we treat this Bride whom He Himself has personally chosen, washed, and forgiven [Ephesians 5:25-27]? And how should the Bride – we – treat this Bridegroom Who has so yearned for this contact with her, in fact with such intensity that He has died, and risen, for this “Soul/Life-mate”?

One will never see Holy Communion in the same way again.