In this world where it can be hard to muster any hope; where the sorrows and suffering of the world pile up, walling us off from any possibility of a joyous future, I cling to a simple meal of bread and wine. It is at the Lord’s Table that I find the grace to carry on.
aThat may seem a tall order for something so routine, something so simple. Yet, at the Lord’s Table, we are encountered by Christ, who has been raised from the dead. At the Lord’s Table, we partake in the body of Christ so that we can become the body of Christ to the world. At the Lord’s Table, we celebrate the “foretaste of the feast to come.”
The “feast to come” refers to a promise in Isaiah 25. This promise was given to people facing darkness, death, and destruction. Listen…
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces… (Isaiah 25:6-7)
Do you hear? God’s bounty will usher in an age when death is overcome, and tears are no longer shed unless they are the tears of everlasting joy. Jesus instituted this meal to be shared as a way of allowing that future promise to break into our lives today. At the Lord’s Table, we raise our eyes from the sadness and brokenness of life to see what Isaiah proclaimed and Jesus established. We rehearse for that day to come. We get a foretaste of the feast God is preparing each moment of each day.
On Sunday, October 15th at 8:30 and 10:00 AM, we will gather at the Lord’s Table to taste the joy to come. We will welcome to the table young disciples who will be receiving the sacrament for the first time.
To mark this day and concentrate our attention on this gift of grace, the choir will be offering a special musical setting of the service – a choral mass written by Joseph Haydn. We will also be using a “narrative” setting of the service, which simply means that we will be inserting explanations and teaching about what the elements of the service mean and why we do what we do. This will elevate the teaching aspect of worship for those who are receiving their first communion, and for all who wish to renew our understanding of the drama that unfolds each week before us.
It is our prayer that all who participate will be able to taste and see the gracious gift of God given each time we celebrate at the Lord’s Table with a renewed sense of hope, faith, and understanding. Please join us on the 15th and every time we gather at the Lord’s Table.
Tim Olson – Lead Pastor