Over 4,000 years ago, more than 2,000 years before Jesus, Abraham fought a war to rescue Lot. Abraham recovered not only Lot and his family, but all the goods and food of Sodom and Gomorrah, two very wealthy cities. Melchizedek, a priest of the God Most High, blessed Abraham and shared a meal of unleavened bread and wine with Abraham.
For 3,500 years, the Jews have celebrated the Passover, with bread and wine, to honor their deliverance by God from slavery in Egypt.
For 2,000 years, Christians all over the world have celebrated their own deliverance by God by sharing in this ancient ceremony.
[Father in Heaven, we thank you including us in the story of Abraham, the Israelites, and Jesus. We thank you for the privilege of participating in this meal, where we sit at this table, a table where great men and women of old have also sat, enjoying your blessings and honoring your great deeds.]
The Lord’s Supper recalls that God not only saves but moves among his people to do great things. We are saved by the hand of the God, who walked the earth with Abraham, who spoke to Moses face to face as with a friend–the same God who is present in our midst as we take this communion–this sharing–with God. This grape juice may be not be the literal blood of Jesus, but Jesus himself is literally here among us. And with this cup, we honor the real presence of the very real Jesus.
[Our Father in Heaven, keep us mindful that you are here with us. Help this meal be real to us, not just empty motions done to honor rules. Rather, help us know you are watching and sharing with us, that you are real and present, and that you love with a love beyond imagining–a love that spans the millenia.]
After Abraham shared his meal with Melchizedek, he gave him a tenth of the spoils of war. God blessed Abraham, and Abraham shared generously. We cannot share in this ceremony recalling the blessings we’ve received at the price of the death of Jesus, and not appreciate the importance of doing our part to support the work of the church, his body on earth.
[Father, give us all glad hearts as we share what you have given us. Help not to begrudge or resent the blessing of giving, but to give with joy and zeal, because we remember your Son’s death and appreciate what it means.]