Are you Thirsty?
April 17, 2019 | Brian McGee
Have you ever been to a restaurant where it seemed impossible to get a refill on your water? It is one of the few things that really grinds my gears. In contrast, if the server comes to the table and leaves the whole pitcher... man, oh man... happy day!
Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, I like extra drinks... that reminds me...
Didi shared with us on Sunday a vivid picture of the last supper that Jesus shared with his disciples. My ears perked up when I heard that there were already four cups to drink at the table... this is my kind of meal! As he shared, I began to scribble notes and doodles on my bulletin. I was fascinated by the significant meanings of each cup.
- The first cup celebrated God bringing his people out of the darkness.
- The second cup celebrated God giving his people freedom.
- The third cup celebrated God redeeming his people.
- The fourth cup celebrated God making us his people.
As my imagination spun, I also began to see areas of my life where it felt like I had been sitting in one of those Long Island diners waiting for what felt like an eternity for the waitress to refill my glass of ice water.
I remember the moment when God brought me out of the darkness. I remember feeling the light shine on me for what felt like the first time. I could finally see what was around me. Life was beautiful and rich with color! However, over time, I also realized that others could also see me. With this came the fear of judgment and the temptation to shy back into the darkness from which I came.
But Jesus gently asked me to take another drink.
I remember what it was like to understand the power of the cross in my life as a young man, feeling released from sin and set free to start my life over again. It was like a breath of fresh air. With that freedom came responsibilities, responsibilities that would undoubtedly yield a multitude of failures. I felt vulnerable and overwhelmed with a renewed burden of control. Maybe the jail cell that was my old life was better off. At least that way I would be safe.
But Jesus gently handed me another drink.
I remember him calling me his own, dwelling in what felt like my inner being. He changed things about me that I thought could never be done. Gone were the many swear words that would spill out of my vocabulary. Gone were the violent and bullish methods that I used to get attention. I felt like I had a purpose for the first time. But was it just me? Was I alone? Who else could I turn to for help?
Jesus looked at me and handed me that fourth cup. "This is my blood, shed for you, take and drink."
I remember coming into a new family. I remember knowing that even if I failed, I wouldn't have to hit the reset button again. I knew that there would always be a place for me to be myself, to be free without judgment. I felt his power as I stepped out in faith to put my hands to the work that he had called me. No longer did I feel like I was working alone. I was united with something much bigger.
Communion is more than just a celebration of what God did. It's a celebration of what God is doing. He takes the multitude of distorted souls, and he brings them into unity. When I look back through my walk with Jesus, I am astounded by the diversity of people that God has used to touch me and to shape me more and more into his image. He has taken what is common and unified it.
We are that. We are his common union, and he is our communion.
So drink deep of his love and don't ever say you've had enough.