For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Tonight, Jesus gave us the gift of the ministerial priesthood, the power therein to serve and forgive, His holy words and example, and His body and blood. He gave all that is needful for right praise and worship. He gave us all we need until He comes again. He gave it this very night.
Jesus left these wonderful things this night, not just because, but so that in them He would remain fully present and available to us. We are able to confess our sins in honesty and are reconciled to the community. We hear His words and see His example illustrated and taught so that we might live likewise. We have His body and blood, and through them unity with Jesus, oneness with He who only wishes to be one with us. He provided all this, this very night.
Jesus provided the ongoing and living opportunity for the faithful to encounter, learn from, praise, and worship Him. He left us the preeminent model of worship that his disciples are to follow this very night.
Jesus told us to gather – and here we are. He told us to learn from Him, to take up His yoke – and so we are ready. He told us to serve one another – and so we do. He told us to eat and to drink – and we partake. We gather, enter the Holy of Holies as one, and come into His presence. We find a unity with God that is at once comprehendible and similarly mysterious.
No matter where we worship – from a glorious looking church, to an auditorium, to a jungle hut – In this re-presentation of what Jesus did and modeled this night, Jesus pulls us into heavenly existence. This is what He left us this very night.
No matter how many people we see worshiping and praising together, from thousands to a handful – – Jesus wanted us to know that we are worshiping with the entirety of the Church throughout the world and the entirety of the heavenly host – all the angels and saints joined with us every time we come together. This is what He called us to do this very night.
In this memory, this remembrance of Jesus we are joined with Him in His eternal being. It isn’t just a photo or video from the past, but an entry into the eternal present. We touch our eternity with Jesus, and in that encounter find comfort, joy, and glory. We get a taste of what is to be for us, His disciples, this very night.
Jesus left us the gifts of this night so we would not remain stagnant. He gave us gifts to get us from where we are to where our possibilities are.
Jesus moves us, in this worship, through these sacramental realities:
from sin and death / to eternal life
from corruption / to wholeness
from brokenness / to healing
from ignorance / to knowledge
from mere habits / to His way of living
from apartness / to presence
from aloneness / to community
from fear / to courage
from ordinary existence / to extraordinary glory
from earth / to heaven
This very night.