And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples and said, Take eat; this is my body. Matthew 26: 26
One of the tenents of my faith is the weekly sacred ordinance of partaking the Sacrament, bread and water, in remembrance of Christ's body and blood. I know this is something common among most Christian faiths. It was introduced by Christ Himself just prior to His death. I was recently asked to teach a lesson on this sacred covenant and I wanted to share some of the things I learned in my study.
When Christ took upon Himself a mortal body, He demonstrated His willingness to fulfill His mission, to Atone for the sins of the world. The Atonement actually began its fulfillment when He took that first mortal breath. For an essential part of the Atonement is for Him to be able to understand us intimately. He knows what its like to be a mortal, hunger, thirst, disappointment, betrayal. All those things that are associated with mortality He knows. He knows because He had a body and He experienced it all.
He tells us there in Matthew that partaking of the bread is remembering His body. Its a recognition of His mortality and His willingness to eventually die for us. How utterly fitting it is that Christ took upon Himself a body in a little town named Bethlehem, the translation of which means House of Bread. It touched me to realize that my weekly partaking of the Sacramental bread is in a way a weekly observance of Christmas. For isn't it at Christmas that we celebrate His life, that He took upon Him a body. We remember Him.
As I was thinking about that my mind went, as it often does at Christmas, to one of my most favorite Christmas memories. It was in April :) My classmates and I got to go to the little town of Bethlehem, which was a good experience. But, the night before was even better. We went to a place called "Shepherd's Field" just overlooking the town. There we told the Christmas story and sang Christmas songs. And as it got dark you could just imagine where the new star might have been. I love the shepherd's in the Christmas story. I look forward to the day when I can do as they did, to kneel at Christ's feet and adore Him.
The little town eventually led to a garden, where He shed His blood, and which we also remember as part of the Sacrament, then to a cross, then a tomb in another garden. And 3 days later, miracle of miracles a resurrection, opening the way for us all to live again.
That's Christmas, that's what we remember. I will love Him forever for what He has done for me, and for mankind.
May we all enjoy the warmth and love of this Christmas season. And may we always remember Him.
Sarah Emily Jordan