A Significant Meal
March 21, 2023
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28
Meals often have meaning. Certain foods can remind us of events and certain holidays are commemorated with specific foods. Whether it is a turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Easter or a tradition of Friday night pizza, meals are significant. In Jesus’ time there were many important meals, including the Passover. Passover was a meal eaten to remember the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. In this meal there was meaning both in the event remembered and in the food eaten. As we approach Easter many church traditions recognize a specific Passover meal with Jesus and his disciples nearing his death. Matthew 26:17-30 gives one account of this meal, the Last Supper.
In Matthew’s account Jesus and his disciples gathered for the Passover meal. Traditionally, the meaning of each food was described as it was eaten with the same words. But this time Jesus provided a different meaning. As he broke the bread and took the cup he said “Take, eat; this is my Body…This is my blood of the new covenant”. Instead of pointing back to the deliverance of Israel, Jesus pointed to himself. He announced a new promise, that in him our sins are forgiven. Through the shedding of his blood, we are given grace and brought into a new relationship with God. His words were significant and changed the meaning of that meal, and it is for that reason that many church traditions regularly remember the Last Supper as a part of worship.
No matter what you call it; Eucharist, Lord’s Supper, or Communion, or how you celebrate it; the commemoration of this meal is an invitation. An invitation to be thankful; to remember God’s faithfulness and to thank Jesus for the sacrifice he made. An invitation to be nourished; to receive from Christ the grace and forgiveness he is extending. Finally, an invitation to community; to deeper relationship with God and with one another as we are united in Christ.
As we approach Maundy Thursday and Easter I invite you to use your daily meals as a chance to reflect. As you eat your lunch or dinner, thank Jesus for the sacrifice he made for you. Ask him to nourish you with his love and grace. And next time you take Communion, ask God to deepen your understanding and appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus made.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gift of your son, and for the sacrifice he made so that we might be reconciled to you. We thank you for the Lord’s Supper and the reminder it is for each of us. As we go throughout our weeks, help us to use our daily meals as opportunities to focus on you. Each time we eat, deepen our understanding and appreciation of the sacrifice of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Blessings in your week,
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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