Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Cup of Blessing

Today is the day some of us attend services that include sharing in communion. This year I will be attending a Passover meal, but when I return home I will prepare the bread and cup for myself, and I will light a candle, spend some time in prayer and meditation of scripture and "share" the body and blood of the Lord with any of you who might join me, at least in cyberspace, in a few moments of contemplation. So when you have some time, I invite you to go find a small glass and some wine or grape juice and a piece of bread. Light a candle if you like. As I do this I will be praying for you. Ready?

We do not have to talk very much in order to pray well. We know that God is there in His holy tabernacle; let us open our hearts to Him; let us rejoice in His Presence: This is the best prayer.

-- St. John Vianney

Dear God,
Holy is your name! We thank you for sending your Son to be our Saviour. We offer our praise with gratitude in our thoughts for all the glorious things you have created, and the wonderful things you have done. Thank you for bringing us to this night in our lives, for times you have sustained us, healed us, restored us, and blessed us. We rejoice that we are invited to be in your presence. Amen

Spend a few moments in silence as you invite the Holy Spirit to join us.

1 Corinthians 10:14-17
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

As I read these scriptures earlier today the words that stood out to me were "the cup of blessing." Some of us from the free church tradition can learn from Catholics and mainline Protestants about reverence and significance as we approach the Lord's table. Are these itmes symbolic? I believe so, but to make them merely symbols is to disregard what the Apostle Paul calls, "blessing." Yes, doctrinal stances and traditions differ about just what the elements of communion are to us, but it is clear from the passage that at the very least we are sharing these things as a reminder not only of what our Lord accomplished for us but also a reminder of our shared community, our shared salvation, our shared redemption, our shared hope, faith and love, given to us by the one who died on Calvary. Let's give God permission to meet us in whatever way is best at this moment, and to bless us with the bread and cup in whatever way God wills to do.

I suggest you enlarge the video to full-screen mode.

Luke 22:19-21
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Eat the bread, remembering Jesus as you do so.

Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

Take the cup, remembering Jesus as you do so.

Jesus, Lamb of God, I pray for those who are sharing in the body broken for us and in the blood shed for us. I ask for wisdom as they face challenges and opportunities, courage as they walk in this dark world as a child of Light, comfort as they mourn losses and disappointments, healing for those who are ill in mind, body or spirit. I ask for mended relationships, renewed hope, strengthened faith, and a new awareness of your divine love. May we sene your presence as we move through these next days, aware of how great is your love for us. Amen

No comments: