SeedInSoil ~ Poems & Essays

 

 

Take and Eat

I knew the Lord's Supper was a sacred occasion, a reminder of Jesus' death, but my young mind couldn't help but take issue with the terminology. How can the preacher call a microscopic cracker and a thimbleful of juice "supper"?
 
And He said unto them, "take, eat ... and ...drink ye all of it." 1

The disciples certainly must have gotten bigger servings than we're getting or there would have been no point in Jesus telling them to eat all of it.

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying,"This is my body given for you; this do in remembrance of me." 2

The Lord was remembered in our church and in our home. And I came to know that He is a loving and generous God and that the Bible talked quite a bit about God providing food and Jesus serving up large meals and oh, I used to get so hungry at church...

...looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied... 3

Actually, the hunger pangs would begin about half-way through Sunday School and an hour or so later the diminutive size of the wafer and cup seemed almost cruel ...

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." 4

Jesus must have been talking about a different kind of food.

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." 5

Increasingly, learning and doing God's will was food for my young soul.

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 6

As teachers like Mrs. Sliger and Mr. Miller showed us the blessings and promises in the Bible, my appetite grew. But the best thing I learned is that God's written word is only the menu. It is the invitation to the feast.

Taste and see that the Lord is good. 7

The Sunday afternoon that I was baptized, I had a joy that I couldn't explain to my young friend whose only response was, "I'm jealous—you got to go swimming and I didn't!"

...for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. 8

Perhaps that was the day I began to see God as the consummate artist/communicator who speaks masterfully through symbols and stories and dramatic commands like,

"dip seven times in the river," 9 "be ye baptized every one of you,"10 "take, and eat, for this is my body..."11

Seems every time He wants us to remember what He has given us, or done for us, He tells us to eat.

And these feasts shall be a remembrance unto you. 12

And our status, powerful or weak, rich or poor doesn't matter; only our hunger, only our thirst.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.13

The stars radiate His power and grandeur from a billion miles away—if we'll look, and a child in the arms will convey his tenderness—if we'll let her... Words and pictures, proverbs and parables, songs, poems, allegories and dance, rushing wind and tongues of fire, rocks, birds, thunder, lightning, times and seasons, signs and wonders. But perhaps the sweetest and most intimate word God ever spoke is,

"Take, and eat. This is my body, broken for you... Drink.... This is my blood... poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." 14

And a tiny piece of bread and tiny cup of juice become a banquet to those who are hungry for righteousness, hungry for Jesus.

Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 15

Lord God, You prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies. You anoint our heads with oil; our cup overflows.16 Jesus, we gratefully gather at the table You have prepared. You have spared no expense. With the eyes of faith we see much more than tokens. We see before us everything we need for life—now and forever.17

Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

1. MT 26:26,27
2. LK 22:19
3. MT 14:19,20
4. JN 6:35
5. JN 4:34
6. PS 119:103
7. PS 34:8
8. PS 107:9
9. 2KI 5:10

10. AC 2:38
11. MT 26:26
12. NU 10:10 [paraphrased]
13. ISA 55:1,2
14. MT 26:26
15. REV 3:20
16. PS 23:5
17. 1JN 5:11,12; also:COL 3:3,4; 2PE 1:3; 1JN 1:1,2

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