March 30, 2012

The Feast Approaches...

People around the world are preparing to celebrate. Some call it "Easter", more secular folks might call it it a Spring festival. Meats, vegetable dishes, desserts of all kinds are being bought and prepared. Colorful eggs and baskets filled with chocolate, jellybeans and stuffed bunnies will start flying off of storm shelves. Why shouldn't we celebrate? We're about to commemorate the time that we received the greatest gift of all: Salvation from God, and our adoption into His Holy Family.

We know that the best gifts come from the heart of those who love us. They're even more valuable and humbling when the giver made a sacrifice to give us these demonstrations of love.

Almost Two Thousand years ago, in a world completely different from ours, a man was preparing for His last meal. The government had tired of His treasonous statements about a Kingdom greater than theirs. The people were sick of His blasphemy of their religious structure, even more so of the sword he was plunging into their hearts. They wanted Him to die for the disruption and discomfort He was causing. And He knew it.

He knew they were going to humiliate, torture, and execute Him in a manner that is unimaginable for us to grasp today. He could have stopped them; He could have brought in an army that would destroy every last bit of their empire. Instead, He simply accepted His fate, and gathered His closest friends for dinner.

With all those at the table knowing what was at hand, it was hardly the joyous feast that the other people in the city were enjoying. Somber, quiet, there was nothing that could be said, until He spoke to them...
"I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood." Luke 22:15-20, NASB

The beginning of the gift was here.

The most precious heirloom of our heritage as God's children.

Is it just a curio on a shelf that we admire once a year? Do we remember its usefulness and importance once a week? Or do we understand its inestimable value and treasure it daily?

This simple bread and wine. Remembrance, ritual, a symbol of sacrifice. A few moments each week to reflect and pray. A few moments to let us think about the enormous gift given to us, and the immeasurable cost He paid for that gift.

He gave salvation, redemption, forgiveness, and mercy to us
He gave us a feast to fill our spirits beyond measure.
He gave us to His Father as His own.
He gave us to each other to be gifts to each other...

What gift will I bring to share with you at the Feast?

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