Pastor Linda Settles
A Meal to Remember
When I was a child, if I got sick with a cold, my mother would fix a special dish for me - Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and a bologna sandwich. Um-um! Now, there’s nothing special about a can of soup and a cold cut sandwich. But when my mother made it, just for me, it was the best tasting meal I had ever had.
There’s something about a dish that is prepared specially for you. It seems to taste better. I recently had to take a couple of weeks off for medical leave. And while I was off, my husband cooked for me. Some of you may know that my husband was an Executive Chef before answering the call to pastor. And he was good at it. He fed celebrities such as Barry Manilow, Stan Musial, and Patti LaBelle. A local food critic gave glowing reviews on his dishes. The man can cook! Except at home.
Maybe it’s true that the carpenter’s home is the one in need of repair. Or the cobbler’s kids have shoes with holes in them. Or the accountant’s bills are constantly past due… For some folks, the jobs that they do outside of the home don’t always make it home. It’s the same with my husband. But I noticed something while I was on leave. He cooked for me! Putting his tender loving care into each dish.
I’ll say it again, there is something about a dish that is prepared specially for you. It shows the love that the preparer has for you. It takes compassion to come out of yourself and do that for someone else. To provide for their nourishment, to make sure that they are fed. Especially when you can’t do it for yourself.
Over two thousand years ago, God saw that humanity was malnourished. The people of Israel turned away from God and did what they wanted to do.
In those days there was no king in Israel;
all the people did what was right in their own eyes.
So God, the Gracious Host, prepared a meal to remember. This meal consisted of peace, hope, forgiveness, joy, grace, and mercy. Love was like yeast flowing through the loaf, permeating it. The Bread of Heaven, Jesus, came down to earth to feed us, to nourish us, to make us strong in the Lord. And just like bread, Jesus was beaten and punched down. He was nailed to a cross and as His body baked in the blazing sun, His blood drained from His body like fine wine being poured into a chalice. The Meal was being prepared.
From the cross, Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). In other words, Dinner is ready! The temple curtain tore from top to bottom as if to say “come on in!” The Meal was prepared! And today we continue to feast on the Lord through the taking of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion. Oh, it’s not just for certain people, but for all of us. Regardless of membership, race, age, gender, sinner or saint – Jesus, our Gracious Host, invites everyone to His Table.
And just as those meals that were specially prepared for you stick in your memory, we are reminded of what God did for us through Jesus Christ every time we eat of the bread and drink of the cup. We are reminded of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. It is a meal to remember, and you’re invited to it!
Join us for worship this Sunday for the final sermon in the series: You’re Invited! This week we’ll preach on A Meal to Remember. We hope to see you in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
World Communion Sunday! This Sunday, the United Methodist Church will join with many other churches across denominations to celebrate World Communion Sunday. It shows our interconnectedness as Christians, regardless of denomination. A special offering can be given to fund seminarian scholarships. Simply designate it as “World Communion” when you give. Our Book of Worship says, “All who intend to lead a Christian life, together with their children, are invited to receive the bread and cup.” All who are in attendance on Sunday, and every time we take Communion, are invited to have a meal to remember!
23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26