May 9, 2012

Saying "Grace" at Supper, Luke 22:14-23

Luke 22:14-23  "When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing."(NKJV)

       One recent afternoon, while sitting at my writing station, I heard an unfamiliar noise. I looked up from my computer screen and noticed that our rescued dog named "Grace" had stolen my son's communion cup from our kitchen table. Oh how she had tried to to keep the Lord's commandment, "Do this in memory of me." I began to chuckle.

      The moment took me back to a place and time long ago. I flashed back to those mealtimes during my childhood when my sister and I said grace as quick as possible. Back then, I hadn't learned the significance of that holy gesture. So, I wasn't concerned about giving thanks to God. The faster I prayed that prayer, the faster we ate. As a result, empty words simply rolled off my tongue without much thought.
     Each night, our family repeated the same mealtime prayer. We said, "Bless us Oh Lord, for these thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord, Amen." My sister and I took pride in how quickly we could say those words and still make sense. What a meaningless gesture!
     Now, as I thought back to that time in my life, I began to thank God for the changes in me. "Thank You Lord, for that night back in 2008 that saved my life!" Thank You for helping me parent my son over the past few years. Thank You for the sweet sound of his voice as he gives thanks to You for the blessings he is about to receive. Thank You for the unimaginable joy You have brought to our family!"
     Next, I thanked God for teaching me His Word and helping me to understand the significance of that final supper between Jesus Christ and His disciples. I looked up to see a tapestry of Leonardo da Vinci's version of the Last Supper hanging on the wall above our kitchen table.  I am moved with gratitude. I glance over at our family pet once again and smile.
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