Links Daily Devotional

‘Do This in Remembrance’

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19, NIV)

Long ago, in the world of my youth, the Golf Digest arrived as it always did. But this time was different. This time, a 19-year-old Spaniard filled the cover.

After all his years of disappointment at major championships, Garcia played from humility. No panic. No concern.The year was 1977, and long before Phil and Tiger and Rory and Jordan, Seve was the next big thing. He had finished second in the 1976 Open Championship. Now he was headed to Augusta, and the world wondered—along with that Golf Digest story—“Can this teenager win the Masters?”

Seve didn’t win that year, but his time would come—twice, along with three Claret jugs and a reputation as one of the daringest, most creative players ever to pick up a club.

Twenty-two years later, after I had become a husband and a father and a school teacher, a 19-year-old Spaniard emerged again, this time at Medinah Country Club in the 1999 PGA Championship. You know his name: Sergio Garcia. The giant, Tiger Woods, had tromped professional golf’s grounds for two illustrious years, and some were calling for his competitive head. Could this wisp of a David from Castellón be the sling-wielding boy to foil Goliath’s run?

Sergio didn’t win that year at Medinah. And when it came to majors, he didn’t win at all. The years kept peeling away. Maybe—Garcia even said so himself—it would never happen.

Then came Sunday, April 9, 2017. Had Seve Ballesteros not been lost to a brain tumor in 2011, he would have turned 60 on Sunday. For a venerated champion, this birthday was reason enough to look back on Seve’s legacy. But there was also this: Sergio Garcia was tied for the lead at Augusta. Not the 19-year-old Sergio Garcia. Now he was 37. But his admiration for his countryman had never waned. What greater tribute could Garcia offer than a victory on this day?

You don’t need me to recount Sunday’s ending. Garcia surged ahead, fell behind, eked out a tie, then snatched the green jacket in a lightning-quick playoff. His iron play for the last six holes was dazzling, but his perspective was perhaps his greatest ally late Sunday. After all his years of disappointment at major championships, Garcia played from humility. No panic. No concern. Just using the skill he’d been given and relying on the years of dedication.

This week those who follow Jesus Christ will partake of the year’s most significant communion meal—the Lord’s Supper in the window of Passover and Good Friday and Easter. Always, we eat and drink in remembrance of our Lord’s death and the salvation it delivered to us. But the poignancy of this week’s context can’t be ignored.

Christ came. He died. And we live because of his death. In the blessing of his salvation, we lose our panic and our concern about the affairs of this life. We function as his, captivated by his sacrifice, thrilled by his resurrection, empowered by his Spirit’s gifting in us. Remember it all when this week you hold the bread and cradle the cup. Remember it all, and remember it well.

Jeff Hopper
April 11, 2017
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