I love eating meals with friends. I had the pleasure of sharing food with friends at Osteria Del Portio in Ealing one recent Tuesday at an Alpha night, where friends brought out cake to help me celebrate my birthday. On the following Friday I shared a Chinese Takeaway with friends in their new home, surrounded with packing boxes, on plastic plates and using plastic cutlery – it was wonderful. Friends make the meal.
At community group we considered the Last Supper when Jesus shared a Passover meal with his closest friends – not a ritual, but part of our relationship with our Saviour. Afterwards I re-read the accounts of this meal in Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 13.
Jesus sent Peter and John to prepare a guest room – somewhere out of the way for Jesus and his closest companions to recline at table and enjoy each others company. To sing, drink and eat; to share each others company before taking a walk together in the olive groves.
What strikes me is the eagerness and sense of urgency in Jesus’ words that evening – he was set on conveying important things to his closest friends while he still had time. What also strikes me is the intimacy Jesus enjoyed with those he loved while a man here on earth.
The key message for me however is Jesus’ anticipation of the Kingdom of God – Jesus’ statement that he would not enjoy a drink of wine again until the Kingdom of God comes. This is what gives the ‘last supper’ such significance.
And now we get to join the disciples down the ages at the Lords Table, to break bread together, as a community. We come to celebrate his death and to echo the prayer He taught us, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. It’s a wonderful opportunity to commune together and to commune with Jesus. I invite you to join us.
Come to the Table
Come, we have a guest room
where you can recline with your servant king.
He will bathe your sore, dusty feet;
and you can rest.
Come, commune; join his other friends
and together give thanks, sing hymns
and toast the coming Kingdom.
Come to the table with honest hearts.
Come and find mercy,
find forgiveness and new purpose.
Come, celebrate the covenant
that confers on us a Kingdom,
bought by the blood
of the one who came to serve.
Do this in remembrance.
Do this with eagerness.
And when you pray say,
‘Thy Kingdom Come’.