Saving the Best for Last

And Last He took the Cup

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:25-26 ESV

While we listened to quiet music, preparing to receive communion last Sunday, my mind turned back fifty years to memories of a farm where we once lived. In those days, my mornings began at a quarter to five. In the chilly darkness, I would stumble out to the barn where, our cow Blondie waited for me to bring her ground corn and hay. As I went about my work, she contentedly munched on ground corn and Kansas City, our cat watched expectantly hoping for the few drops of milk I sometimes sent her way. Twenty minutes later I would return with a bucket of warm fresh milk. This was poured through cheese cloth and allowed to settle, till the cream rose to the top. That cream we skimmed off and set aside. That very best part of the milk we saved for last.

And saving the best for last, is exactly what Jesus did at the very first communion table. While the disciples were still arguing over which of them was most important, Christ took the precious bread and the cup to try and show them what must soon happen on a terrible cross, waiting just up the road for Him. After three years, during which they had shared countless adventures, sailed through storms and seen miracles, the disciples still had much to learn. So, as they sat together at the Last Supper, Jesus gave thanks, then took the bread saying, “This is my body,” and then the cup, saying, “This is the new covenant in my blood.”

Two thousand years later it is no different. We still have the privilege with uncounted millions of others who have believed before us, to drink His cup, and remember that for Jesus, it meant the cross. For Him that cup was filled with suffering, but He drank off its bitterness and left for us the sweetness of the best for last. This New Covenant cup, bought with His blood, for us is filled with mercy, love and eternal life. All that Jesus asks us is that as we receive, we remember Him – until He comes again!

Easter Cards at Nursing Home update

Since posting on Thursday about the ladies making and giving out Easter cards at the Sunshine Memory Wing, three ladies came today to Life Care Center. I was so excited to have helpers that I put them right to work! So, this morning they not only helped to sing hymns and give out Easter cards they also to the time to serve communion. If you get communion every time you go to church like we do, you may think that is not a big deal. But at a nursing home with covid protocols in place as well as the special needs of residents it is a tremendous blessing! The cups are each individually sealed with a separate layer for the wafer and are difficult to open. (You might be nodding your head in agreement if you have used these!) To serve just the 15-20 residents who came today took the three ladies 10 minutes of our 30-minute meeting time. But no one cared that it took a while and as you can see the folks were all smiles! So just remember that you may not realize the value of small things you do for others on this side of heaven. But as Mother Teresa says, “Do them anyway!”

And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded. Matthew 10:42 NLT

Sitting Next to the King

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
Psalm 23:5 ESV

We all love the parts of the twenty-third Psalm when God makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters. But how do we feel about following Him on the path of righteousness; that lead into the Valley of the Shadow of Death? When the road grows dark, and we hear the howling of wolvers it is tempting to give in to fear, but God’s word gives us three things to give us courage. First, our Shepherd who let us rest in the green pastures and walked us down to the gentle stream is still around when danger comes. He leads us into the valley because we need more than just green pastures and fresh clean water. He knows that only when our faith is tested will it begin to grow. Secondly, in the darkness of the valley, our Good Shepherd teaches us to follow Him, one step at a time. We learn that wherever He has walked, we can safely follow. Whenever He stops to rest, we must also and when He says to pitch our tents, we can trust that His rod and staff will protect us through the night. Finally, and best of all, when we wake in the morning, He leads us to a banqueting table that is waiting for us! There in the middle of the dark valley, He brings us to the same table He sat at on the night when Judas betrayed Him. There He takes the bread and blesses it saying, “This is my body which is given for you.” and then He takes the cup that overflows and tells us, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” Then He says to remember every time we receive, that He passed through the Valley first and prepared a table for us there. At that table, no enemy, no problem, or suffering will matter, because there in our darkest valley we will find ourselves at a table sitting right next to the King!