communion, rice pudding, and a pot of tea

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After taking the bread and giving thanks, [Jesus] broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup after the meal and said, “This cup is the new covenant by my blood, which is poured out for you.” – Luke 22:19-20

IMG_8942Thursday evening’s communion service, celebrating Christ’s Last Meal with his closest friends, is typically one of the quietest and least well-attended on our church calendar. At the same time it’s one of the most intimate and meaningful gatherings of the year.

For me, sitting with my church family around the table, thinking specifically about the way Jesus walked from that meal to the Garden of Gethsemane and his arrest, always give me pause. If the Master had passed the cup to me that evening, and said, “Dip your bread in here to show me that you’re all in, Derek…” then how would I have responded?

It’s an ongoing invitation:

IMG_8950Yesterday evening, I happened to end up seated directly to Rebekah’s right when it was my turn to come to the table. She handed me the bread, and I tore off a big hunk; “This is the body of Christ, Derek,” she said, “broken for you.” So I turned around, and I did the same to my neighbor: “Ray, this is the body of Christ…”

Then Rebekah passed me the cup, holding it for me while I dunked my huge piece of bread; “This is the blood of Christ, Derek, shed for you…” It tasted so sweet, so satisfying.

What I experience when I take communion is a visceral sense of assurance. “This is enough!” is what Jesus says to me. “Be assured, be confident, be at peace, be satisfied that what I have done for you is always enough.”

“This is enough! Be assured, be confident, be at peace, be satisfied that what I have done for you is always enough.” – Jesus

I guess it’s kind of God’s equivalent of shepherd’s pie and rice pudding and a pot of tea when I’d go home to my parents’ house in England. “This is it; you’re home now; everything is taken care of; be at peace.”

I took the bread from Rebekah, and I took the cup too. But am I willing to take on everything that Jesus invites me to share?

In love, and because of love – DEREK

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