This post has been written for the Five Minute Friday Link-Up:
Luke 22: 14 – 20 (NASB)
14 When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table.[a]15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”
19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”
20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.[b]
In thinking about the prompt for today (table), I’ve found myself reflecting on all the ways in which I have been drawn to sit at the table of my Lord. Two months ago, I felt led to lay aside my volunteer job of visiting the elderly, even though I felt it was something good. And yet I was encouraged to slow right down, to open extra space for something. What that something was didn’t become clear till the Write 31 Days challenge kept appearing before me. Repeatedly, I was nudged in that direction until I accepted the invitation four days late.
And it is in accepting this invitation that I found myself pulling up a chair to a table, a table where I would find Jesus had invited and seated a community of believers around me. As I poured out my cup of suffering enfused with the life of Jesus, I saw these guests at His Table draw close to soak up every drop. And as I entrusted them a piece of my broken body held together in Christ, I found them passing me back their own broken pieces being made whole in our Lord. And in sitting at the table together, I’ve felt God pressing us together, much like Jennifer L. Lane envisions in her soon to be released #FaithAdventures, where she sees the Body of Christ as bees in a beehive, pressing into each other to release sweet flowing honey.
And I have seen the honey flowing and tasted of its goodness, as God has been using this community around me to open my eyes to the Life in their and my cup of suffering and broken bodies: His Life. And in the opening of my eyes, they have been encouraging me to step forward in faith, Christ within them emboldening me to step back into the broken world around me to be broken further and to heed the invitation of His Word to invite more of his lost, broken and suffering people to the Table, for more honey to flow.
As I wrote this I kept thinking of the worship song Come to the River by Housefires II: they describe this Table we are called to so very well.
Isaiah 53: 4 – 11 (NLT)
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.
7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.[b]
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.[c]
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.
10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.