Friday, October 17, 2014

Mark 13-14

Scripture connections: Matthew 24-26, Luke 21-22, John 13-14,18

Mark 13-14 gives me that uneasy feeling again.  We're getting to the part in the Easter story I don't like to read, about all the bad things that are going to happen to Jesus.  The big shots of the time are out to get Him.  They want Him dead.  They see Jesus as a threat to their authority.  The tension mounts.  They don't want to believe He is who believers say He is, the promised Messiah, the Son of God.  The disciples are clinging to Jesus' every word at this point.  Jesus is preparing them for life after He dies and rises to be with our Heavenly Father.

The Last Supper is one of the ways Jesus prepares His Followers for days ahead.  If you have ever been a church goer, chances are pretty good you have experienced communion at some point, a way of honoring and remembering The Last Supper.  If you're like me, communion has been something you have always just done.  And because I have always done it, I have come to accept it as important in my life as a Christian without really thinking it through.  I can remember participating in communion for as long as I have been old enough to go to "big church" (the main worship service).  Have you ever wondered why it's such a big deal?  Where did this sacred and holy tradition come from and who says it's important?  We have already read about it in Matthew 26:17-30, and here it is again in Mark.  

22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24 “This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.

I want to take a closer look at this.  Why do we celebrate communion?  The quick and simple answer is because Jesus told us to do it.  

As I read these Holy words, I know communion is so much more than a simple routine and tradition.  Jesus was eating with His disciples, sinners no different than You and me.  He knows ahead of time that we will mess up and betray Him, but His love is much greater than our imperfections.  

Around the dinner table, the place where we find nourishment for our bodies, Jesus gives His life to us, His body and blood, to nourish our souls for eternity.  He is making a very intimate and personal connection with us here on the one hand, and uniting us with our brothers and sisters in Christ on the other hand.  This is arguably one of the biggest promises in our Christian faith.  Jesus promises that He is, and will always be, for us and with us.  Just like Jesus gives thanks in today's passage, we should be thankful every single day for the reality of this promise. 

There are many different views on communion.  To read more on these details, I found an article at  While I think we have to examine why we do what we do in our faith, I also think it's equally important to avoid letting human traditions and logistics related to communion get in the way of God's Word and will for my life.  

When we take communion, God encourages us to renew and refresh and strengthen our relationship with Him, letting go of all that separates us from Him.  He shows up and nourishes our souls, above and beyond what bread and wine alone can do.  Communion is an opportunity to grow in our faith with God and draw closer to the only One who can save us.  No wonder, it's so important!

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank you for reminding me of Your great promises.  Thank you for being with me as I reflect on all that Jesus has done for me.  Speak to my spirit and help me renew myself in You.  I pray you will fill me so that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are pleasing to You.  You are my Rock and my Redeemer.

In the name of Jesus Christ I pray,

Love and prayers,
*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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