In my hand, while morning light streams into the sanctuary, I hold the cup and the bread. I hear the words I have heard so many times before… this is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. Can a mystery be called familiar? For I know the taste of the bread, the scent of the grapes so well… but every time, it is a new moment of grace. Every time, it is pure wonder to be invited to His table.
It amazes me, too, when I think of how many before me have eaten this bread and tasted of this cup. How many generations have met in remembrance of Jesus? How far back does this story of grace really go?
Did it begin with the disciples gathered around the table with their heart-heavy Friend?
Did it start with the Hebrew people preparing to walk away from their bondage, the blood of a lamb over their doors so that the angel of death would pass over?
Was the beginning with Abraham standing over Isaac, trembling with the relief that God would provide the sacrifice?
Or was it in the garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve leaving behind their inadequate fig leaves when the Lord Himself clothed them?
I believe that from the moment He said, “Let there be light,” God’s purpose has been unfolding.
And we have a place in His purpose.
From those first moments we witness, we see how everything that He spoke into existence was good ~ and He was creating a home for us. He made us so that we could be His people and He could be our God… even as He knew that the Son He loved before Creation (John 17:24) was the Lamb who would be slain so that we would be able to abide with Him always. (1 Peter 1:20) Yes, this story of ours that began so long ago and leads to the cross… it is the story of grace written by the Author of Salvation.
For because of their disobedience, Adam and Eve could no longer walk with God… but because of the Son’s obedience, He came and walked among us ~ as one of us. He crossed through the separation that sin had created to draw us near to God again.
He came, image of the invisible, to show us the Father.
We see God in Him ~ in the Word made flesh ~ and by His light, we see our own hearts, too.
When I open the Gospels, I see myself in those pages. I see my own reflection in the voices of the lonely, the cynical, the broken. I see my own sin in the hardened hearts, in the quick-to-judge, those wise in their own eyes.
This is why I am undone by the words of Jesus. This is why I can hardly breathe when I read about His compassion, His mercy ~ this is why I can hardly believe I am able to take of His cup, to eat of His bread.
On this journey to Calvary ~ following His footsteps ~ I see the way He goes after the lost sheep, the broken hearts, the outcasts, the sinners.
In His presence, they find what they need ~ healing of body and soul, heart and mind.
He pursued those who needed Him ~ and this remarkable pursuit did not end within the pages of Scripture.
Through His death on the cross, He made a way for every heart across the ages to be freed from sin ~ and this sacrifice reaches through time and still makes us new. He became our way so that we can boldly come before the throne of grace, into the presence of God.
Break and eat, for this is the bread of life given for us. Take and drink, for His blood is the forgiveness of our sins. This is re-union with the Father through the sacrifice of the Son. This is the miracle of His Spirit, dwelling within us. This is the hope of Heaven, where we shall see Him face to face.
We are brought Home into the love and heart of God through Jesus.
For me, these are not just words ~ this is not just a pretty thought or a theological truth. In my own life, I felt ~ for many years ~ that I did not matter. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I felt rootless and afraid.
But His voice called out to me ~ and He said I could abide in His love. He said I could belong to Him, always. He, Himself, brought me to this place at His table.
As my life unfolds, day by day, it is by His strength that I stand. Because of His presence ~ because His Spirit is with me ~ I am no longer controlled by my fears. I am planted in Him, and nothing can separate me from His love. On the days when darkness seems to overwhelm the world and anxiety weighs on my heart, I still know that Jesus has overcome ~ and so I live with the hope of all things being made new, all things made right, all things redeemed and restored.
To anyone who will believe, He is the Open Door to a Home unshakable and eternal.
You, too, have a place at His table. You, too, have a forever-Home in His unfailing love.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” ~ John 14:1-7
“…I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever ~ the Spirit of truth… you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.”
~ John 14:16-20
“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love.” ~ John 15:9