Bread of Blessing Blood of the Covenant

June 3, 2018

The Gospel of Mark which we heard today invites us to the Passover Feast.  It is here that Jesus will take an already significant moment, a meal already spiritual and a celebration already in the lives of the Jewish people and change it forever.  This important elevation of the sacred Passover Feast makes this covenant a perpetual memorial, an everlasting experience.  As we gather in the here and now, this same significance finds our hunger and thirst leading us to an event that is forever a connection to what is eternal.

This day the Body and Blood shared on this altar of sacrifice finds within itself divine sustenance.  What makes it so powerful is the love of God.  Before we ever knew we were hungry, God provided His Son who would give up His life for us.  Before we ever knew we were thirsty, God provided His Son to quench this thirst with a sacrificial love poured out for us.  Before we ever knew we needed, God provided.  Hunger and thirst are powerful drives that lead us.  It is a craving that sends a husband to the grocery store to provide for his pregnant wife what the taste of the day is.   It is a hunger that leads us to the refrigerator to find some ice cream for dessert.  It is love that makes sure things needed are stored in pantries and refrigerators.

I can remember my mom always enjoying our visits as we grew older.  She had a special way of brewing iced tea from scratch, adding just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar.  It was the best tasting iced tea ever.  At times when I would pick her up to take her shopping, the first thing I would do is open the fridge, grab the orange pitcher and pour a glass of the iced tea.  One time when I arrived and found there wasn’t much left in the pitcher, I was a bit surprised and asked Mom why there wasn’t more tea.  She said my sister Janet  had been over the day before and I should ask her.  We all loved her tea and felt it was made special for each of us, and it was.  Long before we arrived, love provided the refreshment.  My mom learned this from my dad’s mom who would visit us once a week and she would bring my dad’s favorite chocolate candy bar for him.  My mom would put it in a cabinet high up and out of our reach.  When my dad got home from work those nights he would ask if his mom left anything for him.  When she said yes, he would have a great big smile on his face.  Love provided that food.

Today we immerse ourselves in the love God has for us.  Long before we were hungry God chose Jesus to offer up His life for us as a saving action for all ages.  Before His death on the cross, Jesus gathered with His disciples and offered them an eternal connection to this sacrifice.  He took bread and wine and offered them up.  He invited His disciples and followers for all ages to eat and drink of His Body and Blood.  Today we do this in remembrance of Him.  We do this knowing that before we were ever hungry and thirsty, God provided for us out of love.

Reverend John J. Ouper