Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Words from Wednesday (Devotional)

Take and Eat. . .More

This past Sunday we celebrated the Lord’s Supper at church. This time it reminded me of a time when I attended a conference. This was a while back, so the memory is somewhat vague, but the speaker was preparing everyone to participate in the Lord’s Supper. This was somewhat foreign to me—growing up in a conservative community where you only did this at church, with a pastor. The one thing that stood out for me was when he invited people to take as much bread or drink as much of the grape juice as they wanted, or as they felt the needed. And I remember being conservative and taking my “church” amount, but I also remember seeing someone just grab a big chunk of bread. I don’t recall what his point was exactly, but it reminds me today of just how some days I need a little more. . .or a lot more.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and 1 Corinthians all give accounts of the Lord’s Supper. Mark 14:22-24 says this:
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

The bread represents Christ’s body that was given for us, and the cup represents the blood of Jesus and how he poured out his life for us through his death on the cross. To sum it up, Christ’s death on the cross has atoned my sins, so I can live forever with Him—guiltless and fully forgiven.

Two of those passages instruct us to continue practicing this sacrament in remembrance of Him. I guess God knew we might need some reminders of his sacrifice for us, His gift of forgiveness, His grace. Or, at least, He knew that I would!

I wish I knew more about the Lord’s Supper. You know, all that historical and theological “stuff” that would make it even more meaningful and real to me. But right now I do know this. Whatever that pastor said at that conference rings true with me today. Sometimes I just feel like I need more—that my faith needs a little more of Jesus. A few more of his reminders to me that he has already paid the price and has worked out my salvation. And because of that, I don’t need to be trying to do all that! Some days I think I am right on track with him—those days I think I can handle the “communion-sized” portions as reminders of His sacrifice for me. But there are other days—and maybe you’ve had them too—where I just need a “super-sized” version because it is not sinking in! God reminds me that his grace is sufficient, that he paid the price, that he gave me this huge gift through his Son. Why is it so hard to remember then? Why does my life seem to contradict his gift of salvation to me? Why can’t I just live guiltless and forgiven . . . every day?!?!

I guess God knew we would need some reminders. Until Christ comes again and I can live in the presence of His salvation, I will rely on those small pieces of bread and on some days I will just have to take the whole loaf!

Verse to look up: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-20, Exodus 12:14

Some links on the Lord's Supper: CRC link and a Southern Baptist church

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