And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
When my mom passed away, she left a few odds and ends of furniture from my great-grandmother. Besides a small sideboard which sat in our office for years were a few worn out chairs and some curious table leaves with legs that took up permanent residence in our attic. One night as I was reorganizing things recently, I began to examine the spare table parts thinking maybe I could salvage them for shelves. They seemed strangely familiar and so I paused to look more closely. Then in a flash I realized that they fit into the sideboard and made up the table at which I had once sat down to breakfast with great grandmother over 60 years ago.
One thing I love about our church is that we have communion every week. Every week we sit down and remember that Jesus has left behind a table. While my table was a happy memory of my childhood; His is a remembrance of His amazing love on the cross. It gives joy to our day as we celebrate God’s gift of eternal life and remember the price that Jesus paid for all who love Him and come to sit down at His table!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 ESV
Have you ever heard someone say, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch?” Well I disagree and I learned why one winter when I was laid off from my landscaping job. My boss paid for a training workshop on irrigation systems and I went along, but since I hadn’t worked for weeks, I had only a few dollars in my pocket . At mid-day when the conference broke for lunch, I found a game room with an open pool table and I grabbed a stick, racked up the balls and started a game. My boss and a buddy of his came by asking me to eat with them but I waved them off. “No, I’m not really hungry guys.” I lied, though my stomach was growling. “I’m just going to hang around and grab something out of the vending machine.” “Suit yourself.” Al answered with a shrug as they headed off towards the snack bar. Once they left, I dug in my pocket and found enough change to buy a candy bar and a soda. Through the long afternoon I forced myself to concentrate on learning about sprinkler heads, control valves and pressure regulators while thinking about the hot meal waiting for me at home. At the end of the day I got in Al’s truck and we drove in silence until my he turned with a puzzled look asking, “Why didn’t come to eat with us? The food was great and it was all paid for!” Though I still laugh about missing out on lunch that day, it reminds me of another meal that is represented when we take the cup and the bread at communion. Why do we sometimes choose to live on the junk food of sin instead of accepting God’s free gift? Jesus has paid the full price for our salvation. By grace we are saved. He is inviting us to come. Why not join Him at the table?
What I miss most during this social distancing era has been the inability to either serve or receive communion. So if we who are able to get out feel frustrated and wish we could be with our church again; imagine how those in Long Term Care must feel.
So after two week’s of prayer God spoke in my heart that the good news is that through the Holy Spirit we can all still celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Sharing in communion is more than just eating bread and drinking grape juice (or wine). Jesus Himself, is the bread of life and His blood which was sprinkled on the throne of grace in heaven, is still the New Covenant between God and man. What we are unable to share because of distance God is still able to do through His Holy Spirit. I invite you to share this video with anyone you know who is in a long term care situation or to participate yourself. We may be separated by many miles; but by the blood of Calvary, we are one in Jesus Christ.
Our hymns for this week’s session include: Are You Washed? The Old Rugged Cross; In the Garden; Wondrous Cross and Nothing But the Blood.