Tampa, Florida has a huge annual festival called "Gasparilla Days." It takes its name from a pirate named Jose` Gaspar. The problem is, Jose` Gaspar never existed at all. Many local residents claim he was invented just for the purpose of finding an excuse to have a festival. When we come to communion, we come to honor a man who most certainly existed. Unbelievers allow that. His enemies allow that. But, believers will go a step further. We not only honor one who existed, but one who still exists, who will exist forever, and who is present with us in the celebration.


J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.