I would be hard-pressed to list my favorite meal. Some days I long for the time when I ate at my grandparents’ table and enjoyed a dinner of speckled butter beans, corn bread, and homemade apple pie. Simple fare, to be sure, but few meals ever tasted better. On the other side of the menu spectrum, I have occasionally dined in upscale restaurants on scrumptious treats that my grandparents never tasted. Those, too, were memorable meals.
To say the least, there is considerable contrast between the simple and exquisite meals I’ve enjoyed through the years. However, I know of only one meal where such a vivid contrast is experienced at the same time. When we meet with the Lord at his table, it is unlike any other dining experience in life.
The Lord’s Supper is simple; and yet, deeply profound. It is personal, as if I am the only one participating; and yet, it is universal, precious to every Christian around the globe. It looks back across the ravages of time; and yet, it looks forward to when time will be no more. It is a picture of tragic death; and yet, it is a proclamation of triumphant life. It is not expensive to provide; and yet, it was so very costly to purchase. The food is that of a poor man, just a bite of bread and a sip of juice; and yet, never has so extravagant a meal ever been served. We who are many become as one body when we take it together; and yet, when we take it together, I must focus only on his body broken for me.
When our sin is forgiven, the Lord assures us he always forgets it; but we must always remember how such forgiveness is made possible. No wonder Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).
• We who are imperfect take the Lord’s Supper to remember a perfect lamb, without spot or blemish.
• We who are sinful take the Lord’s Supper to remember a sinless substitute who became our Savior.
• We who are perishable take the Lord’s Supper to remember an imperishable promise from an eternal God.
• We who were lost take the Lord’s Supper to remember the One who found us.
• We who are in the land of the dying take the Lord’s Supper to remember the only One who can usher us into the land of the living.
On second thought, I do have a favorite meal! We are invited to it weekly by the One who loves us more than life itself.
Tom Ellsworth ministers with Sherwood Oaks Christian Church in Bloomington, Indiana. His latest book, Inverted, is available at www.standardpub.com.