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Communion Meditations (2021)

 

Caterer

Mark 14:12-16

Originally scheduled for May 9

Let us suppose that you have been asked to be the caterer at the most important meal in history: the Lord’s Supper. Your first reaction might be that you would leave nothing to chance; every detail would be checked and double checked. Our Lord did it somewhat differently.

Christ’s method relied on the providence of God. Let’s look at the first requirement: just exactly where are you going to hold the supper? Well, here are the instructions that Christ gave two of his disciples:

·         You’re going to go into Jerusalem — a city crawling with pilgrims there to celebrate Passover — and look for a guy carrying a particular type of water jug.

·         Don’t ask the man anything — just follow him until he goes into a house. This is beginning to sound like you’ll need a trenchcoat.

·         When he goes into that house, locate the owner of that house.

·         Then, tell that man to show you the room which he should have prepared for Passover. And in the same instruction, let him know that “The Teacher” will need it for his Passover supper tonight.

Hospitality is a virtue in the ancient world. The man probably would’ve felt very honored at the occasion. But if he’s anything like you and me, he might’ve appreciated a little warning first. But amazingly enough, the man is ready for them.

 

About that water jug — maybe it’s not just a locator tag but actually has a purpose. After all, houses in those days did not have running water. The servants had to haul the water in jars. Maybe this was the jar that contained the water with which Christ washed his disciples’  feet.

Is all this just a coincidence? No, it is a series of providences. Foolish people sometimes will tell you that God created the universe and then left it alone. He did not; he created and he sustains it to this day. It is not miraculous; it is the character of God on display. Despite what appears to be the random character of Christ’s instructions, the disciples found everything as he said it would be.

Providence teaches us much. It first teaches us that God is the God of the details, not just the grand sweep of things. It is not only plausible that he pays attention to your life, it is certain. You are a part of his creation, one of his children, why would he not care for you?

But a more important reason for Providence in this case comes in steadying the faith of the disciples. No matter how bad things look, they can see that God has all the details in his hands. Things will work out the way He wants them to. Communion celebrates the death of Christ, so that we might remember his atonement. He reminds us when we do this to remember him until he comes again. Communion also celebrates the greatest victory in history — the resurrection. Taken together they tell you that God is in control of the big things; he is also providing those little things for us, like the guy with the jug. Miracles like the resurrection show you God’s power; his attention to detail in your life shows you his love. Remember this as you partake.

 

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