by Dorette Saunders
It’s not unusual that we find fellowship in sharing a meal. There is something about eating together that often allows us to drop our guard and enjoy unfettered companionship. The meal gives both host and guest reason to feel honored. One is honored that they were invited; the other is honored that the invitation was accepted.
In what is often considered “The Last Supper,” Jesus welcomes his 12 disciples to the table. In the midst of the meal, Jesus washes their feet (John 13:3-5). It was unheard of that the host would wash the feet of the guests—that was a task assigned to the servants. And yet, in an uncanny reversal of roles, Jesus, the host, throws the door wide open and invites each of them, including Judas, the betrayer, and Simon Peter, the denier, to experience how love serves.
Jesus’ actions show love holds no record of past, present or future wrongs, and that Jesus is the one who calls us to the feast regardless of what we think of ourselves, or how others view us.
Jesus—our Servant-Savior, Soul-Satisfier seeks our presence at the table. He calls us into unity—and community with himself and each other. Earlier, he had prayed to the Father in this way:
“I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us….” (John 17:20,21, CEV).
This oneness with Jesus the Bread of Life, humbles us. And so we approach the table as Jesus calls:
You with the checkered past and still uncertain future. Come! If you’ve been told before that you don’t quite belong. Come! You who question where God is when evil tramples justice. Come!
No one can turn up their noses here. Each of us has a blood-bought seat. Each has been redeemed---even if we have not yet acknowledged the Redeemer. There are no better seats available nor areas where Christ’s glory does not rest. The feast, it is for one—for all, made holy by the very presence of the Lord.
And when we have feasted, Jesus tells us that we should repeat the feast, often, as a way of remembering him. The bread, Christ’s body broken for us. The cup, Christ’s blood, poured out for the remission of our sins. Repeat it, for we become unfilled walking the rough, dusty roads of a world darkened by sin. Repeat it for nothing satisfies our soul’s deep hunger, or our thirst. Repeat it, for it is indeed good for us to break bread together.
PRAYER: Lord, we meet you at the table to be revived by your body and your blood. Refresh our spirits through the power of the Holy Spirit. Make us one, even as you and the Father are one. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.