It is hard to believe that we are coming up to the first Sunday in October. Where has the year gone? As typical of just about every first Sunday of the month, our church celebrates Communion. As part of my sermon series “Read Through the Bible in a Year” I have chosen to step away from the lectionary and focus on major themes throughout the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. This week’s focus is on the preparation for the Passover or Seder Meal as found in Luke 22:7-13.
“Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.’ They asked him, ‘Where do you want us to make preparations for it?’ ‘Listen,’ he said to them, ‘when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, “The teacher asks you, ‘Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ ” He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.’ So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal” (Luke 22:7-13 NRSV).
The message that I hear from this passage is one that reminds me to be purposeful in my acts of worship and reverence. Jesus models this sense of intentional preparation by sending Peter and John ahead to prepare the important meal of Passover. There is no half-hazardness about this feast. Instructions are specific and direct.
Our offering to God should include everything that we have to give. Is it really our complete selves when all we offer are left overs? We are asked to bring to the table our completeness. As we come to the table we intentionally leave behind the idea that God could never embrace us or love us in a radical and transforming way. In offering all of ourselves we do include our imperfections. The blood that is offered at the table redeems those parts of us which need to be restored to wholeness.
As we prepare and celebrate the sacrament of Communion in our churches let us remember to be fully present. We are asked to give all of who and what we are to God. We are reminded of the sacrifices of both God and humanity in the sacrament of Communion. We come to the table with an awareness that something empowering and impossible is being made known. Our God is reminding us that the Divine is present among us, through us, and yes, even in spite of us.