Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Lord's Supper

We are told that one of the signs of the breakdown of the family is that fewer families share meals together. With such erratic work and schools schedules, we too often find ourselves grabbing a bite here or there or wolfing down a microwaved burrito while scrolling through Facebook. However, mealtimes are essential to the life and functioning of a family. It is over meals that we slow down, look each other in the face and tell each other how we are doing. We get to know one another over pasta, burgers and broccoli. We forge bonds that nourish us more deeply than carbohydrates or proteins can.

My wife and I are blessed with a close, intimate relationship. Looking over our lives, I have to credit it to our shared passion for food. We never miss a meal, and we take any and every opportunity to go out to eat. Time shared conversing over a meal strengthened our relationship even when our faith was not as central a part of our marriage and when we rarely prayed together.

Since meals play such a foundational role in human bonding, it makes sense that our God would long to share a meal with us. He wants to share an intimate union with us that goes deeper than words or concepts. Even more wonderfully, the food that he wants to share with us is his very self. The bread becomes his body. The wine becomes his blood. We are united to our God in a wonderful way. As the hymn, “Gift of Finest Wheat” so beautifully expresses it: “Whom all the world cannot contain comes in our hearts to dwell.”

So why would we ever want to miss an opportunity to share this meal with our Lord and God? When we consider that it is God himself whom we receive, how silly does it sound when people say, “I get more out of praying at home or being in nature.”? There is no union with God more real or more intimate than the communion we share when we gather to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

We must strive to make our hearts, then, a worthy place for him. If Jesus were to come to our homes, we would make sure it was spotless for him. We would cook our best meal and spread out our finest china. So our soul must be as spotless as possible to welcome him into the sanctuary of our heart. And, at the moment we receive him, we must block our all distractions and focus on the Savior who meets us. He brings unfathomable graces and inestimable riches. As he promises, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will never die but have eternal life.” He comes to share this meal with us, to give us his life, until the day we enter the fullness of life eternal in Heaven.

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