Come to the Table
Recently as I was preparing to receive communion, I examined my heart as the scriptures direct when we come to the table. After asking God to show me what I needed to see, I began to think of the countless reasons I didn’t deserve to enjoy this feast.
I held the little cup in my hand stroking the sharp brim and rubbed the flat and dry cracker between my fingers and waited. I know I am not alone when I come to the table feeling like I’d rather clean up the crumbs than partake of it myself. But it occurred to me the people sitting around the table with Jesus the first time this meal was served, most likely would have said the same. If the disciples fully understood that they were being served more than just a good loaf of bread and a glass of wine, perhaps they too may have hesitated.
Judas was watching for an opportunity to hand Jesus over and still took the bread and drank the cup.
Peter, who claimed loyalty until the end, would walk away that night and three times deny the One who served him bread and wine.
Thomas, whose claim to fame are his doubts, would later need to put his fingers in the holes left in Jesus’ hands to believe the man who stood before Him was the risen Christ.
James and John, the Sons of Thunder, were opinionated and zealous with desires for position and status.
Philip and Nathaniel were full of questions, from “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” to “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Like the disciples, all of us have our doubts and questions – we are full of imperfections. We come to the table likely to betray Him again and choose something safe and comforting over following Jesus.
Thankfully the invitation to the table isn’t contingent upon us. This invitation comes with no strings attached. It simply says, “do this in remembrance of me.”
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is foryou. Do this in remembrance of me.”In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” I Corinthians 11:23-26
The meal is served knowing full well we are not capable of serving it ourselves. It is given freely with love because we wouldn’t possibly break the bread on our own or take the cup ourselves.
On the night when he was betrayed, knowing full well He would be left alone by all those claiming they loved Him, Jesus invited them to eat anyway. He invites us again and again to the table of grace where forgiveness is found, before we even give in to the transgressions in our hearts. There is mercy at this table, constantly giving us what we don’t deserve. Love is served in this meal in abundance, higher, deeper and wider than we will ever be able to grasp.