Meeting Jesus at the communion table
Last January, on the NC Synod’s tour of the Holy Land, we went to the Mount of Beatitudes on the north western shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is the site that has been acknow-ledged as the place where Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount.
It had been raining that day and we were fortunate to have worship under a covered altar area. We all huddled together in the face of a downpour. We sang, we prayed, we received the Word, all overlooking this Sea of Gali-lee that I had read about for so many years.
The sermon that day included a quote by The Rev. Mitri Raheb that the Holy Land was so special he could see it as a third sacrament. As Lutherans we believe in two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion, but it defined for me what I had been feeling, that this was indeed aspecial and holy land. A land where Jesus actually walked, and as I trailed his foot-steps wanting to know where his feet landed, I realized it wasn’t about his footsteps, it was about his presence.
The centuries collapsed between the steps Jesus took and
my own. He had gone before me, but didn’t leave me in the dust. This happens in Holy Communion, becoming united
with Jesus, and all the saints. As I received the wafer, I remembered how Jesus told his disciples before he depart-ed from them, “Remember, I am with you always, to the
end of the age.”
Dear Lord, you are always with us, no matter how time and space have separated us from your earthly presence. Keep us united and nourished with your body and blood. Amen.