Mary loved having Jesus over to their house for dinner! But, even more than that, she loved to sit in the floor and hear Him teach after dinner. Her sister Martha was a worker though and didn't understand her devotion. Some people are devoted without service, while some serve without devotion. God needs devoted servants. But, what did Jesus answer when Martha asked Him to tell Mary to come help her with the dishes? He told her Mary had chosen the best part... communion with Him.
Twelve of Jesus' disciples were allowed to follow Him closely throughout His earthly ministry. They ate where he ate, and walked where He walked. They "did lunch" together on a daily basis. Shuffling through the crowded streets by His side, hiking through the desert at His heels, or sitting around camfires, watching the sparks fly upwards in front of His face, they seemed to hang on His every Word. They loved to hear Him speak, and often questioned him on His words, seeming to enjoy the privileged communication they were granted with the Master. But, one very special dinner was their last time to communicate with this Friend...their last communion before His crucifixion. Jesus, with heavy heart, told them the wine was symbolic for the blood He was about to pour out willingly for them. Then He broke the bread, pronouncing that His body would likewise be broken for them. They shuddered and dared not question these acryptic words, afraid for what He could be thinking. (They had so much invested in His ministry...had given up everything to follow Him...it would be a horrible loss without a resurrection.)
Death, crying, burial, fear, sadness...all followed this meal with their beloved friend. How they must have missed Him in the following days as they huddled around the table over a meal, looking silently at an extra empty chair someone forgot they no longer needed. And, when the bread was broken between them, how they must have quaked. How the wine must have tasted on their lips! Until...until Pentecost and beyond...until they were filled with power, revelation, and mission and took up the act of communion as a memorial of that bittersweet evening with Christ.
Today, at church, we took communion. We ate dinner with Jesus. We drank from His cup. We acknowledged His broken body. And, when the bread is broken... do you feel inside your heart what it must have felt like to be sitting next to Him at the table? Can you close your eyes and imagine having dinner with Jesus, hearing His quiet steady breath as he talks to you. Can you see His face as He passes you the bread, saying "Take, eat...this is for you," meeting your gaze with that look that demands to know if you love Him? Communing with Jesus, imagine that!
The disciples who drank from Jesus' cup all shared literally in His suffering here on Earth. Each, with the exception of John, died a torturous death. John survived boiling in oil somehow, and lived out many of his last days imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos, where He was given visions now recorded in Revelation. Then he was released when he was so old he had to be literally carried to church. Those moments at the table with Jesus were life changing. The broken bread of Jesus' body was multiplied, much like the loaves and fishes from His miracles. And, today I was fed from His bread of life, the Word of God. It is such a blessing to "do lunch" with the Savior...to commune with Him at communion here on Earth.