Yesterday, there was a really important phone call I had to make, so I put a reminder on my iPad. It duly rang out the alarm at the correct time. No sweat. Remember the old days when we had to scribble a note and put it on the mantelpiece? I had a colleague who used to write on her hand anything she needed to remember. It would always be there in front of her. It was that sort of remembrance God was talking about through Moses in Exodus 13:8-10. “Like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the Lord is to be on your lips.” When I taught English as a Foreign Language, we used to play a game, where we would stick a post-it note with some information on it, on each person’s forehead. They had to ask each other questions to find out what was on their own post-it note. A sign on the forehead was to remind each other. Right in front of their noses. While the sign on their hand was for themselves to see. God knows how easily we forget, and how we need reminding.
And what was it God wanted them to remember? To keep the law of the Lord on their lips, and to recall all that he had done for them in delivering them from the slavery of Egypt. Having no yeast for those seven days was the prompt to focus on these things.
At one very special Passover Feast, Jesus redirected their thoughts. From then on, when they took the bread they were to think on him, the new Passover Lamb, the one who was about to bring their deliverance from the slavery of sin. Likewise, when they took from the cup of wine, he wanted them to remember the punishment he was about to bear for them, and the blood that he would spill in his rescue plan.Most churches celebrate this awesome memorial more than once a year. Each time, we as Christians take that opportunity to reflect afresh on all that Jesus did for us, and we are thankful.
But what about ‘keeping the law of the Lord on our lips’? What law is that? Jesus came, ‘not to abolish the law, but to fulfil it’. (Matthew 5:17-18) The law of loving God and your neighbour, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And what we need to remember, when we take communion, according to 1 Corinthians 11:26 is to ‘proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes’. What we need to be reminded of, each time we take the bread and the wine, is to tell others. Our neighbours’ biggest need is to know what Jesus has done for them. Let’s not forget to tell them.