Today’s Reading: Daniel 3:1-4:37
God’s been saying a lot to me lately about communion. And what’s been interesting to me is that nothing has been overly obvious but rather it has all been rather veiled. A sermon here and there talking about communion, every once in a while a scripture will come to mind having to do with the Lord’s Supper, and then last night He really kicked things into high gear for me. Yesterday I wrote about Jesus holding out the cup to His disciples as a marriage proposal, then shortly thereafter my husband and I left for our Monday night Bible Study at church where we had our last meeting for the season and therefore had a “last supper” together where we even took communion. Which, I was simply thrilled about since I had just finished writing about how beautiful of a gesture that was. Then after we got home, finished homework, put the kids to bed there was a load of laundry that HAD to get put into the dryer before we went to bed so while I was waiting for that to get done I finished reading The Shack. In the very end of the book the author describes the main character, Mack, having communion with Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, yet there was no ceremony, no ritual, just a simple meal between friends was shared. They ate the loaf and drank the wine together. Yet the message still didn’t hit me full force until this afternoon after struggling all morning to try and write something, anything and NOTHING was coming out right. (I can always know when I’m writing what God wants me to write, because when it’s right it just flows out and my fingers can hardly keep up. Which is what they’re doing now.) Finally, I spent a little time talking to a friend of mine and sharing with her some of the revelations that God has been revealing to me through His word, even when they so rarely directly apply to what I’m reading on that day! Through talking to her I began to realize that I was trying to write the things that I thought God wanted me to say, so I decided to stop doing that. J In the midst of our call I got a call from the school, never a good sign! My son had somehow managed to miss the bus! In almost four full years he has not once missed the bus before! So I broke off our call, grabbed my daughter and dodged the raindrops to get to our car to pick up my son. The street was beautifully filled with puddles perfect for driving through and splashing, drawing out oooohhhs and aaaaahhhhs from the back seat as the water cascaded away from the tires and onto the grass on the side of the road. A perfect break from writer’s block! We came back into the house, I set my children to doing their chores and visited the bathroom where I briefly picked up my new “bathroom book” A Thousand Gifts and low and behold what was the author Ann Voskamp talking about? EUCHARIST! (The Lord’s Supper, Communion!) I shook my head in dismay, Lord, what are You trying to tell me???
And then it finally hit me, as Ann was talking about the meaning of Eucharist and how it is ongoing, perpetual, like, all the time and God finally brought all the elements together in a beautiful masterpiece in my mind, THE TABLE! It’s all about the table!
You see, for the longest time now I’ve been struggling with all the ritual of Holy Communion. I’ve been struggling with it because Jesus and I have Communion almost every single day. In fact there are many days when we have Communion at every meal! You see, it was Ann’s explanation of the oh-so-common elements that God chose to be our Communion elements that helped connect all the dots for me, it’s a loaf of bread and a cup of wine. Bread and juice, a grain and a fruit, my friend how often do we eat a grain and a fruit in the same meal? ALL THE TIME! And that is how Jesus and I have been having communion all these long winter months, I will sit down to eat and then look at what I have placed on the plate in front of myself and the Holy Spirit will strike me with the realization of what I have done! There will inevitably be a grain, usually bread, and a fruit and I will look up at the “empty” chair before me and say “Well Hi there Jesus! Thanks for joining me for lunch!” Now, don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the ritual communion at church on the first Sunday of every month, but when I’ve got people telling me that it’s a sin for someone who is not an ordained pastor to give communion, well my feathers start to get a little ruffled. I’m not an expert on the Bible by ANY means, but I do know that that’s not something Jesus said at the last supper to His disciples when HE was doing the first communion.
Jesus said simply “Do this in remembrance of Me“. Common, simple, un-ritualistic He said “don’t forget to remember Me”. Because He knew that we would tend to forget Him! I spend the majority of my day studying and writing and talking about Him and yet I forget about Him!!! Obviously I’m not forgetting to talk about Him, but it’s kinda rude to sit at the same table with someone and talk about them to everyone else at the table without ever talking TO them, isn’t it? Thank You Jesus for being so patient with us! Communion, as defined online by Merriam and Webster, is an intimate fellowship or rapport: communication. Now for the last few days as I’ve been describing a relationship with Jesus to you, I’ve mentioned over and over again the idea of the kind of relationship where you’re just two friends sitting across the table from one another sharing a cup of joe and chatting about life with one another. When reading Ann’s point about the common-ness of the elements of communion and the concept of communion itself I literally shouted “THE TABLE!” This relationship with Jesus is centered around a dinner table! One, that I might digress a bit to point out would inevitably be made from the wood of a tree… like a tree of Life perhaps… the remnants of a cross…) This table where the common, everyday elements of bread and wine are shared between two jovial friends sharing the day’s events together in communion or intimate fellowship or rapport. (*wink*)
Sometimes, we simply make things harder on ourselves than we really have to. Communion; intimate fellowship, a marriage proposal and acceptance, a simple meal shared between friends at a table – any table, Communion = time spent with God. Hallelujah!
Peace be multiplied to you! (Daniel 4:1)