“These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover.” – Exodus 12:11 (NLT)
We hate to eat and run… especially when the food is delectable and those at the table are convivial. A good meal in a relaxed atmosphere is definitely among the sensual highlights in our lives.
But the Passover and the Eucharist are different kinds of table gatherings. They were never intended to satiate us. These meals are intended to prepare and strengthen us for the difficult journeys ahead of us.
When the Israelites gathered for the first Passover Feast, they were instructed to come to their tables fully outfitted and prepared to embark upon the challenging freedom march out of Egypt to Canaan.
When Harriet Tubman and runaway slaves gathered around the tables of the Underground Railroad, they ate not to be comforted, but to be strengthened for the hazardous trek northward towards emancipation.
When Jesus gathered his disciples at the table for the Last Supper, the meal was not intended to relax them but to commission them as witnesses of his solemn pilgrimage to Calvary.
Every true Communion celebration must be accompanied with a sense of urgency regarding the mission that immediately succeeds the meal. We are never to become so relaxed at the Lord’s table that we miss the Lord’s mandate to “lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us, and run with patience that is set before us.”
The urgency of the Lord’s mission beyond the Lord’s meal reminds us that we do not live to eat; we really do eat to live.
Lord feed us at your table. Then free us to do your work. Amen.