Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dining with Christ

Scripture:  Luke 22-Luke 24
Don't forget that as this book ends, that its much like a movie that you know will have a sequel.  Think of the disciples all watching Jesus ascend, and the movie guy's voice booming, "And they watched Jesus descend and went back to Jerusalem, waiting for the spirit to come...."  Acts is the continuation of Luke, written by the same author!  And don't worry, we'll get to Acts soon! 

What really spoke to me today was the story of the last supper.  My parents get back today from 10 days visiting our family in Iowa and South Dakota.  We moved here from Iowa when I was 9.  We visit often, but not for every holiday.  We have wonderful meals together around our table with our family of four (and whatever other folks we can round up!), but part of me honestly does miss big family gatherings.  I know while Mom and Dad were visiting they had lots of big family dinners!  Maybe that missing family is what made this stick out to me.

But all I could picture was this big dinner.  Jesus says in 22:15, "I have very much wanted to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer."  He says, I really wanted to eat with you before this.  It makes him sound so human!  I know that feeling!  Then they start to fight over who is the best and he has to break it up.  (Something I know my Mom and Dad had to do with Sarah and I!) The Jesus starts to talk to Peter. Catch this translation (CEV) of that discussion in vs. 31-35:

31Jesus said, "Simon, listen to me! Satan has demanded the right to test each one of you, as a farmer does when he separates wheat from the husks. 32But Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to me, help the others." 33Peter said, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you."
    34Jesus replied, "Peter, I tell you that before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don't know me."

I'd never heard it that way before!

Application:  Are you inviting people to your table?  Are you ready to really sit down to a meal with Christ?  What do you think about when you take communion--that you are a part of Christ's life?  That he specially wants to share a meal with you?  Or is it just an obligation?  May this reading change the way you see Communion!

Prayer--God, I want to be part of your table.  Of your life.  Of your family.  May I never take for granted the love you have put in my life! Amen!

Pastor Emily!
June 30-- John 1- John 3
July 1-- John 4-John 6
July 2-- John 7-John 9
July 3-- John 10-John 12
July 4--John 13-John 15
July 5--John 16-John 18
July 6--John 19-John 21
July 7--Acts 1-Acts 3
July 8--Acts 4-Acts 6
July 9-- Acts 7-Acts 9


Mary said...

I was touched by Jesus encouraging Peter that when he turned back to Him, he should strengthen the others. Peter has no idea that he will say he doesn't know Jesus to save his own skin. He is ready to fight, with the sword. But before this all happens Jesus tells him what to do when he gets back on track. Jesus knows Peter's sin/betrayal, yet has big plans for him. God doesn't give up on us. He can use us as soon as we turn back to Him.

Eating is important in these chapters. The Last Supper is the last positive thing they do together before the cross. They share the ceremonial meal of Passover, remembering how God saved Israel in Egypt, right before Jesus becomes the sacrifice that saves each of us. Breaking bread after the walk to Emmaus is what opens the eyes of those men. When he joins the disciples in their hideout, Jesus asks, "Do you have anything here to eat?" And that is when he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures. Eating can nourish us physically and spiritually.
And the Roman centurion at the cross says, "Surely this was a righteous man.

Carol Flores said...

Emily I was also struck by the part about Jesus talking to Peter about how Satan had "asked for him". Even though Jesus knew Peter would deny Him 3 times, He prayed for him and knew he would turn back to God. How awesome!! I never thought about Jesus praying for me, for my faith to remain strong. I still am amazed when Peter denies Jesus even though he was just told he would and he vehemently argues that he would never do it. What made him forget? Fear? God, the kingdom was right there for the Jews and the Disciples, free for the taking. Just like it is for us today. Help me keep my faith strong and tell others how your Son fulfilled everything you promised in your Word.