My grandfather had a dent in his forehead and it looked like I imagine Goliath's head would have looked like after David's stone "sunk into his head". At some point in our lives, my brother and I asked about how he got that dent in his head. He told this amazing story of a time when he was driving a supply truck as the allies moved across the European front when an explosion went off throwing his truck over and a hammer coming down and smashing into his head. Once he came to he was being treated for a head wound and from that point on he had a dent.
Holy crap. It really is an amazing story when I think about it.
Courage. Bravery. Luck. Trama. Heroics. Scars and dents. The story has it all.
Specifically, it holds elements that my grandfather wants to be remembered as. He wants us to remember him as courageous, brave, lucky and he has the battle scars to prove it. This story also carries with it something else that my grandfather wanted us to remember him as. A good story teller.
You see the historical accuracy of a hammer hitting my grandfather is a bit off. In fact if his truck was shelled, he did not get a dent in his head from it. The historical story is that he went to a bar and the next day he woke up with the dent.
When we tell stories, we tell how we want to be remembered. This does not mean we are lying it is that we are using the medium of story to convey a deeper truth than just the historical/factual.
When we tell the liturgy of holy communion, we don't tell the story in a way that exposes that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter or even abandoned by the disciples. We don't tell the story that says Jesus was freaking out and even was going to sweat blood in a few hours out of anxiety and fear. This is not the story that Jesus wants us to focus on when we break bread together.
We talk about how God in Jesus was reconciling everything together. We talk about the interconnectedness of the Holy Spirit and Christ and the embodied Church. We talk about a common cup and a shared loaf. We talk about the love of Christ to give everything.
These are the things that Christ wants us to remember about that night. Not the betrayal or denial or abandonment. Christ wants us to simply remember him.
Sometimes the stories we tell are historically/factually true, sometimes they are not. But even is my grandfather was never wounded from a hammer, he did convey to my brother and I something about who he was. So too the Church conveys something about who Jesus was when we tell the story of communion.