When we lived in Cambridge UK, it was a joy to take Communion with a congregation that was over 1000 years old. After eating the wafer, we passed the old silver goblets through the rows. The picture in my mind was of Jesus and the disciples, sitting at the far end of a long table, passing the elements of the Supper to each other - and then sharing them with those who came after. Including me.
Christians from every tribe and nation have sat at that table: the Church Fathers, believers in the Middle Ages and the Reformation, and throughout the travels, trials, and revivals of the Church. The table stretches forward into the future to those who will come after us. We believe that the broken Body of Christ and his spilled blood was and is an effective sacrifice on our behalf.
In contrast, believers in Christ rely on God alone to make us whole; he alone can cover our sins and separation with his righteousness. Any other "paths"of human solutions - more morality, more sacrifices, and more efforts - fall short. Scripture says, "Only God's grace and redemption saves us." However, after accepting God's gift or reconciliation, we align our behaviors to please God, as those who have been saved from ourselves and our brokenness.
I'm relieved that we don't have to build a bridge between God and us. He's already done it. Sitting at the Long Table reminds me of his invitation to come, taste, and see that he is good.
*Lord, you have been a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm. Isaiah 25:4 NIV
*Jesus said, "I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!" John
*What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32 ESV
Moravian Prayer: Lord, thank you for your presence, love, forgiveness, and peace. We so often try to live our lives in darkness but realize we cannot. Thank you, ever-present God, for bringing us from darkness to your light. Amen.