Last Sunday we celebrated the Lord’s Supper. As a pastor, facilitating the sacraments is one of the most important, meaningful things I do. To stand at the font and baptize a person – to pour the water symbolizing dying to sin and rising with Christ is so powerful. And to stand up and break the bread broken for us never fails to touch me.
Whatever you call it, Communion, the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist; and whatever your beliefs are about Christ’s presence, we can all share this. Jesus gave us this special meal to celebrate with each other, and he is present with us in the breaking of the bread. It is a very powerful, very connecting ritual of the church.
On Tuesday morning, during prayer time, I randomly opened the bible and landed at this passage: Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over (Matthew 26:14-16). This event immediately comes before the Last Supper, the institution of the holy meal of Communion.
Now I have read this countless times. I have preached it, I have studied it. But the significance never really struck me until this week – Jesus celebrated this meal, this special event, this sacrament while he was being betrayed by one of the 12. He gave his apostles, and us this means of grace knowing that one would betray, one would deny and 11 would abandon him in just a few short hours and then he would be executed.
Often we experience betrayals in our lives. It might be a close friend, or a fellow leader, or even a spouse. We might have someone walk away from us during a time of need. We might even be in a life threatening situation when someone abandons us. And that hurts. But can we, like Jesus, give grace in the middle of the turmoil? Can we offer ourselves as a blessing to others even when we are in crisis?
The next time you eat the bread and drink the cup, remember his sacrifice and pray that God would show you how you can be a blessing to others even in the middle of life’s difficulties.