Tag Archives: Last Supper

First and Last Communion

 

??????????I enjoy teaching first communion classes for families. The children are often excited and eager to learn about this mystery meal. We bake bread, tell stories, and taste foods.  I love connecting the meal to the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We walk through the story of the passion: Palm Sunday parade, the last supper, the trial, crucifixion, and burial.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Then the surprise of Jesus’ resurrection, (which is the name of our congregation I remind the children).

But first communion is just the first step. I like having the parents there since they are rediscovering what the meal is for them. Communion grows in meaning and joy as we participate in it.  There may be times we take it for granted, but God never takes us for granted.  It is always his gift of grace for us.

Though the focus is on preparing for their first communion, I often ask the question, “do any of you know when your last communion will be?”  Together we wonder about the uncertainties of life, yet the constant promise of God to be with us in the Lord’s Supper.  I tell them the story of taking communion to people in hospice as they prepare to die. The meal become an appetizer for the feast that is yet to come. When we will all feast with Jesus and drink the new wine.

Jesus said, “I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29)

Lord Jesus, let me taste again the power of your grace and love.

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Holy Week Story – Tuesday

Continued Reflections on the Holy Week Story

Readings for today: Matthew 26:17-46

And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me. Matt 26:21

And he gave (the cup) to them saying, “Drink from it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matt 26:27-28

What a sharp contrast of emotions in today’s text!  We are again reminded that one of Jesus’ own disciples will betray him.   Jesus, who loved each disciple deeply, was wounded by Judas’ act.  Judas was not an outside official who simply wanted to keep the status quo.  Judas was a friend, who had seen, heard, and experienced Jesus’ ministry of healing and hope.  Scholars speculate what motivated Judas to do this.   Was it greed?  Or disillusionment that Jesus was not the Messiah Judas wanted?

I think the motivation is left unclear so that we can have identification with Judas.  At some time each of us has betrayed God or God’s children either in thought, word or deed.  We profess that we love Jesus with our lips, but our actions towards his children betray our fickle hearts.  We betray Jesus, when we do not love our neighbor as ourselves.

Yet on that night of betrayal, Jesus gave us the gracious gift of communion, the promise of forgiveness.  In Luke’s gospel, it is clear that Judas was still present when the cup of the new covenant was passed among the disciples.  God’s forgiveness was offered to Judas, even as he prepared to turn Jesus over to the high priest.   God’s forgiveness knows no boundaries, and here is a clear example of his gracious, forgiving love.  No matter who we are or what we have done, the promise of God’s forgiveness is declared for us.  We are forgiven people.    

When have you seen or visited someone who needed a tangible expression of God’s love?  How can you help that person realize how precious they are to God?

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the gift of your own body and blood.  Let that gift strengthen me in the knowledge that you love me more than anything.  Amen