“…I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…” (Luke 22:14-23 NRSV).
These are the words of a man who knows fully what is about to happen to Him. A person who is committed to His Father’s will. A person with a huge gift to give on His way out. A person who knows that through His own death, He can save our lives. A person, that by becoming a victim, can unite us forever with His Father through Himself and the Holy Spirit.
The next time you receive Holy Communion, think about it. Think about the energy that is in the small piece of bread and the sip of the fruit of the vine. Offering these to the disciples at this Passover meal while refusing to eat the meal Himself “until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” This unified us with Him and secured the kingdom’s place on earth. His death and resurrection assured us of life everlasting.
Take a moment and recall a time when you received a tremendous blessing by giving to another. It might have been a thing, money, loving support or a prayer. Do you remember the feeling of joy that came over you as you gave, knowing by the person’s response just how much your sacrifice meant to them? The disciples would have to wait a time before they fully realized what a gift they had received. When the Holy Spirit came upon them at the Day of Pentecost, they were released like doves to go and describe the gift we all had received.
As receivers of this gift of redemption, we should be grateful and follow Him while sharing the knowledge of His gift of redemption with all whom we contact. By living our lives in such a way that our joy and thankfulness shines forth so as to draw others to us, providing opportunities to pass on the joy. And for those that feel unworthy and shy, I refer you to St. Paul, who says in his second letter to the Corinthians, “So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me…for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” (2Cor. 12:9 NRSV)
Go out on a limb for Christ in weakness and watch the joy that is brought through you. The gift He gave can be given over and over. Thanks be to God.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.