Last Christmas, I received a remarkable gift from my grandmother, who is an accomplished watercolorist. She painted a picture of the first hibiscus plant I had grown at my new house in St. Cloud, Florida. As I gazed at the painting, I could imagine her masterfully applying washes of reds and pinks to form the blossoms and mixing lush greens for the leaves.
By creating this painting, she entered into my context to remind me of our connection with one another. She could have painted a magnificent waterscape at sunrise from her living room window on Holmes Beach, but she chose as her subject my little container garden with the funky 1970s stenciled porch floor in the background, all of which she carefully marked out in detail. Watercolor represents a connection between my grandmother and me; we have painted together for decades, since she taught me when I was eight. The image she gifted was a tangible expression of this connection we share.
When you take the Lord’s Supper, Jesus presents you with a gift that does this very thing!
In the Lord’s Supper, God enters into our context and affirms the unbreakable, covenantal, life-giving connection we share with him. He uses humble, earthly items to impart to us something heavenly. In John 6, Jesus teaches the that he is the Bread from Heaven, and what that means for us: “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he will also live because of me” (John 6:56-57, ESV). The life we receive as we feed on Jesus flows out of the life of God, grounded in the assurance of an eternal bond with him through Jesus Christ. In some mysterious way, as we take the Supper, the Holy Spirit joins us with Christ’s sustaining, assuring power in that moment (1 Cor. 10:16-17)…