(This week I’m sharing a devotional message I gave at my home church last weekend)

downloadA little over a week ago we had a family gathering to celebrate our daughter and wish her well as she prepared to leave for four months of study in Seoul, South Korea.

We ate lots of chicken, homemade salads, bread, and deserts.
We heard stories of her summer and college classes, and also talked about her plans in Seoul.

There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family.  I cherished every moment I spent with my daughter before dropping her off at the airport, including some dad and daughter time at the Minnesota State Fair (cue the bucket of Sweet Martha’s Chocolate Chip Cookies). Needless to say, we’re planning a big celebration and when our daughter comes home in a few months.

God, our heavenly Father, also loves meeting with people around a table, over a good meal. There are many times in the Bible where we see God setting a table and preparing a meal for those He loves:

In Psalm 23 David said that God

“ prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies”

Isaiah 25:6 states

“On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all people”

It was at a meal, the last supper, that Jesus infused the ancient Jewish Seder with new, ultimate meaning: It is now the meal in which we remember the new covenant with God that was sealed by Jesus’ broken body and shed blood on the cross.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Matthew 26:26-29

Communion isn’t just some added-on element to worship.  Communion IS worship, as we remember Jesus’ ultimate worth-ship in our lives and the church.

There are three things we can worship God for in communion.

First, we worship Jesus as we look back at what He did for each of us on the cross. Jesus Christ came to redeem and restore us to the relationship with the Father that was lost in the fall. Jesus took the penalty for our ugly, sin-ravaged lives, hearts, and existence so we could receive his righteousness and be reconciled to God. We are now able to be in the presence of the Most Holy God and sit at His table only because of Jesus.

Second, in communion we remember that Jesus Christ is fully alive today— Risen—not only at the right hand of the Father but also alive within all those who have received Him, His body, the Church.  We worship Jesus who prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one so the world will know that Jesus is Lord.

During communion we invite the Holy Spirit to “Come-union” us with Christ and unite us as His Body, the Church.

Finally, we look ahead at Jesus’ promise that He is coming back to this planet—bodily, gloriously, and victoriously—to usher in a new heaven and new earth, free from illness, violence, sin, and death. He told us that when that happens, there will be the quintessential feast. Jesus himself will eat and drink with us again in this new reality.

In communion we express our worship of the soon and coming King: Amen, Come Lord Jesus!

For all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, we remember and worship Him for who He is and all He’s done for us. We ask that He makes us one, as He and the Father are one. Finally, we look ahead to the incredible, eternal feast He is preparing for us when he returns.

God bless you!
Chris Atkins

Please share a link to this blog with a friend, and check out my new book “The Isaiah Encounter: Living An Everyday Life of Worship” at Barnes and Noble and Amazon:

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http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-isaiah-encounter-chris-atkins/1122720646?ean=9781630477523

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