Immediately upon our return from the city Mary Grace and I were picked up by some of our friends and brothers here to spend the evening overlooking the vineyards as the sun went down. We had wine, candles, silly shadow shows with our hands (so 20 years ago, I know!) But just being able to sit in such beautiful creation and enjoy each other's company and laughter was so uplifting! The guys or "men" of our small church and baseball club are a force to be reckoned with- take it or leave it ;)
All of this built up an anticipation within me for today's service, in which we were able to take communion also. I was struck once again by the seriousness of sitting at the Lord's table and partaking of His body and blood through mere bread and wine. Our pastor Stephen spoke out of Exodous 24 and of the covenant the the Lord made with Israel. He used the symbolism of a wedding to represent the ultimate covenant between humans: we can have the most exquisite decorations, flowers, feast, and powerful music but without the PROMISES being made, there is no covenant. Even if one side speaks the words, the other has to not only respond, but offer the same commitment in return. Without this, a wedding celebration would only be a party. Celebration without purpose. So it is with our "communion" to the Lord. As an older couple might renew their vows, every time we partake of the Lord's supper, we are being afforded the opportunity to RENEW our personal and individual covenants with Him. How gracious is He?! It is a mandatory refreshment of our relationship with God. As a wedding feast represents the union and peace between two families, so is our union with our Father. In taking of His body and drinking from His cup we are saying "I surrender my life to you, your leadership, and I trust where you will lead me." In a sense we lay down our swords and weapons of defense (our will) and receive peace. How amazing!