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