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Communion also looks ahead

September 8, 2023

Daily Scripture

Luke 22:14-18, Isaiah 25:6-8, Revelation 19:6-9

Luke 22
14 When the time came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles joined him. 15 He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 I tell you, I won’t eat it until it is fulfilled in God’s kingdom.” 17 After taking a cup and giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 I tell you that from now on I won’t drink from the fruit of the vine until God’s kingdom has come.”

Isaiah 25
6 On this mountain,
    the LORD of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
        a rich feast, a feast of choice wines,
        of select foods rich in flavor,
        of choice wines well refined.
7 He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
    the shroud enshrouding all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever.
The LORD God will wipe tears from every face;
    he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth,
        for the LORD has spoken.

Revelation 19
6 And I heard something that sounded like a huge crowd, like rushing water and powerful thunder. They said,
“Hallelujah! The Lord our God, the Almighty,
        exercised his royal power!
7 Let us rejoice and celebrate, and give him the glory,
    for the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
        and his bride has made herself ready.
8 She was given fine, pure white linen to wear,
    for the fine linen is the saints’ acts of justice.”
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Favored are those who have been invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb.” He said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The Hebrew prophet Isaiah said when God fully rules our world, he will prepare “for all peoples a rich feast”—the way rulers marked victories. Scholar Richard B. Vinson noted that “until it is fulfilled” (Luke 22:16) “is a promise to Luke’s readers that the kingdom truly will come.” * In Communion you look, not just back, but ahead to the truth of Jesus’ words: “In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

  • None of the gospels quoted Jesus, just before he endured the cross, as saying, “I’ll eat this with you again IF we ever get to God’s Kingdom.” For him, there was no “maybe.” Even as darkness closed in, he was sure that in the end, love and goodness would defeat hatred and evil, and God’s kingdom would become reality. When life’s darkness seems to be closing in on you, how can Jesus’ “until” remind you that darkness never has the last word?
  • Many religious leaders in Jesus’ day were sure God wanted only them as guests at the great final banquet. They’d misread Isaiah’s vision. “In one of many expansive visions in Isaiah, God is imagined preparing a banquet not just for the elders on Mount Sinai (cf. Exodus 24), nor even for Judah, but for all the nations.” ** That’s why at Resurrection we invite anyone who loves Jesus to join in the Communion service. How does your heart react to God’s generous, inclusive vision?

Lord God, I do not want my walk with you limited to this time-bounded existence. Thank you for inviting me to trust in, and finally participate in, your eternal banquet. Amen.

GPS Insights

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Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is the Entry Points Program Director at Resurrection, a self-proclaimed foodie, a bookworm, and is always planning her next trip. She has the sweetest (and sassiest) daughter, Carolina Rae, a rockstar husband, Austin, and a cutie pup named Thunder. She loves connecting with others so let her know the best place you've ever eaten, best book you've ever read, or best place you've ever been!

Wow! These three passages hold such incredible, meaningful, and hope-filled Scripture. I hope you’ll read them two or three times and really focus on them in your reflection today. It’s almost impossible to simply write one post about it all, but I will try my very best!

Eight or nine years ago, my husband and I started a tradition that has brought me immense joy–our Cook Friendsgiving. I know that everyone has heard of “friendsgiving” at this point, but it’s one trend I am fully in support of. Our friendsgiving has happened in four different cities with so many different groups of people. But one thing that never changes is that EVERYONE is invited, and EVERYONE is welcome. And when I say everyone, I mean it. One year, I invited a woman I had literally met in line at the grocery store, and she CAME. It was amazing. The other constant is, of course, the food. Our kitchen is always groaning in delicious food and wine, and I think this is the piece that makes combining everyone I know but they don’t always know each other not awkward or weird. Food has magic powers, I’m sure of it, in the ways that it brings us together and creates safe space.

When I get to that day and stand and look around at all my people, I think that this is probably one of those thin spaces, giving me a glimpse into what heaven might look like. Both Luke 22 and Isaiah 25 point to this idea—and I think the contrast of the two passages make today’s reading even more powerful. Luke 22 shows us that Jesus gathered his most treasured people around food to pour out his love for them and signify his very self to them through human food just hours before he would suffer. In our darkest moments, we can find God through food and with others. Isaiah 25 shows us that God is preparing the richest feasts for celebration when He finally completely rules our world. In our most victorious and celebratory moments, we can meet God around food, with others.

As you’re reading this, you might be walking through a really hard thing. Something may have happened to you, or you’re in the midst of hard change, or you’re deeply suffering from physical and/or emotional pain. As you’re reading this, you might be on a mountaintop celebrating a new job, a great start to the school year, good news you’ve received, new love, or healing. We’re all of this. But whichever space you’re living in right now, what do you think about calling a friend or two and eating a meal together? It’ll take a little effort (which might feel like a lot right now) but I promise it will nourish your soul and point you towards goodness, love, and God.

P.S. If you eat out somewhere really great or make something really yummy—let me know! It will nourish my soul to get any good food recommendations!

Sending you joy and great meals,

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Richard B. Vinson, study note on Luke 22:16 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 157 NT.
** Patricia K. Tull, study note on Isaiah 25:6-10a in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 1129 OT.