We might describe the marriage between the Lord Jesus Christ and His bride, the Christian church, as a community property marriage. This way of saying it might jar us at first, but it points to an important aspect of our faith that is often neglected.
What we have in this meal is a representation of koinonia, of mutual partaking. In this meal, Christ offers Himself to us. In this meal, we offer ourselves to Him. In this meal, we offer ourselves to one another in koinonia love. And last, in this meal, we offer Christ (and ourselves with Him) to an aching, lost, miserable, and sin-torn world. As often as we partake here, we proclaim Christ’s death until He comes.
Our understanding of this mutual partaking is an understanding that grows over time. In the Song of Songs, the bride at first mentions how her beloved belongs to her, and follows it up with the fact that she belongs to him. “My beloved is mine, and I am his: He feedeth among the lilies.” (Song 2:16). But later in the book, this is reversed. She begins with the fact that He possesses her, and then goes on to rejoice in the fact that He belongs to her. “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: He feedeth among the lilies” (Song 6:3).
We begin with the knowledge of what we are receiving, but we know that we are also giving. We grow up into the knowledge that we have given ourselves away, and in that knowledge, we know that we have received everything. Whoever loses everything for Christ’s sake is one who has gained everything. He who grasps to keep what cannot be kept is forfeiting what, if received, could never be lost.
At this Table we are reminded—and we are reminded every week—that Christ is everything to us, and everything that He is and has is now our possession by right. That right was not bought through any merit of ours, but rather through the sheer and quite outrageous and completely scandalous grace of God.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.