Read Mark 14:12-26
In our Gospel passage this morning we recall the story of the upper room and as the disciples prepare the Passover meal, it’s clear that Jesus prepares for the meal’s proper meaning. And by that I mean that this particular has less to do with facts but more to do with the relationship which exists between Jesus and his disciples.
As Christians we all strive to be faithful disciples of our Lord and Saviour yet it is only by God’s grace that anything spiritually positive happens to us or through us. Faith is not so much what we know, not even what we know of God, or Jesus or the Bible – important as all this may be.
Faith is about knowing that others love us. Because God loves them and us, wholly and complete – it’s all about God.
I’m reminded of a story I read many years ago, think it was in one of the chicken soup for the soul books, about a man and his five year old son. The man needed some gravel for a patio area out the back of his house, but of course when it was delivered it was at the front of the house – so it needed to be moved. The man struggled with wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of heavy gravel as he slowly moved it from the front to the back of the house. All the while his young son carried little amounts of gravel in a small bucket he had. Usually used for building sand castles on the beach. Once all the gravel had been moved to the desired location, the little boy proudly went to his mum and said, ‘Mummy, I moved a whole pile of stones today – and I let Daddy help too…’
And this story got me thinking of how good a picture this is of God’s kingdom breaking into our world today. As Christians we struggle with small buckets of the gospel but God wields great wheelbarrows of grace – yet we seldom notice. Too busy, too distracted, too caught up in our own life, too full of apathy – whatever the reason, we seldom notice.
However, when we do awaken to God’s blessing we soon discover that most things of lasting worth and value cannot be understood through conventional wisdom and understanding. Love is a prime example of this. No matter how we might try to, we could never explain love. But we can experience it and we can share it.
Mark’s stark story tells us that while gathered around a common table, with a common loaf and cup, Jesus shared with his disciples the most important lesson of his ministry. Take – this is my body – this is my blood of the covenant. And the last words of our text are instructive… When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the mount of olives.
Between the hatching of the plot to kill Jesus and the prayer in Gethsemane Jesus stops to eat with and bless his disciples. In community we learn what is truly important. And in shared worship we gather to remember and to celebrate. And then we go out to serve God’s world.
Holy communion lies beyond mystery and yet it is a way by which we express how our own relationship with God through His Son and His relationship with us, actually functions. And if you let it, the Lord’s table can become a life changing experience. Even if we find it difficult to fully comprehend the true significance of the Lord’s table, let’s ensure we know that it means at least this.
The Lord’s table is all about grace and love, where we experience the fullness of God’s grace and love for us. None of us merit a place at this table and we could certainly never earn a place at it. This meal is God’s free and willing feast gift – given to us.
It offers all of us God’s unconditional love – a gift of divine love. And no matter who you are or where you go in life, no one could ever offer you a more generous gift.
So come, taste, see that the Lord is indeed good. Blessed are those who come in the name of the Lord…Amen