Sunday's Scripture ~ I Corinthians 11:23-27.
Andrew and I love to eat. We especially love to eat when we travel because eating is a way to truly get to know a people and culture. When given the option, we like to eat "off the beaten path..." and I would not be surprised if some of our eating "off the beaten path" was actually eating "from the beaten path."
As my father-in-law says, "It isall protein, after all..."
One night while on our trip to Nepal our hosts cooked us dinner. Kyle decided to make spaghetti with his specialingredient. Being that we were in a country that marked every meal with curry, Andrew and I anticipated some curry-spaghetti mash-up.
Oh how wrong we were.
The noodles arrived on the table. Next to the noodles sat the pot full of deep, dark sauce. I was accustomed to spaghetti sauce being "fire engine" red; this sauce was much more mahogany in color.
We fixed our plates, adding liberal portions of the sauce to our noodles. Andrew and I twirled our noodles around our forks.
"Get ready!" Kyle prepared us! "Guess my secret ingredient!"
I looked at Andrew. And he looked at me. His eyes started to water. And I started to giggle, mouth full of mahogany-sauce covered noodles.
Y'all...it was cinnamon!
Cinnamon spaghetti sauce!
That was definitely a first. (and only!)
We were certainly surprised at that meal. And we ate the portion on our plates much as we had at other occasions of interesting meals. Because our hosts prepared with us in mind. And I believe they prepared their best because they had us in mind.
I believe that when Jesus prepares his Table for us that he prepares his best because he has us in mind. And because he wants the best for us he hopes that we come to the table prepared. He hopes that we come to the table having made confession of our sin and having reconciled with any sister or brother we wronged. He hopes that we come to the table wanting andexpecting to be changed. He hopes that long after the taste of the bread and juice have faded that we act and advocate and sing and serve as if we have just received the gift of the sacrament.
Jesus hopes we are surprised by what we experience at the table. Jesus hopes we are surprised by where the table leads us.
I look forward to gathering with you at Christ's Table this week. I pray that you come to the table encouraged and expectant - encouraged by the love of our Savior and expectant for what his love will invite you to do.
Prayer: "Lord, you make the common holy: "This my body, this my blood." Let us all, for earth’s true glory, daily lift life heavenward, asking that the world around us share your children’s liberty. With the Spirit’s gifts empower us for the work of ministry."*
*"Lord, You Give The Great Commission," The United Methodist Hymnal 584.