To share a meal with someone was to have a real relationship with them.
Jesus showed the disciples, through the Last Supper, that they were family, bound by a deeper blood than biological blood. And He invites us to this meal as well, to take Him in, and have a real relationship with Him. Each communion points to a day when we will feast with Him face to face, and with one another, for indeed, we are family.
I couldn’t find a depiction of The Last Supper that I loved — it’s always impossible to portray Jesus — but we also know they were reclining, and depictions of that seemed strange. So, in truth, I’m not sure what it looked like except that I know it was intimate, sad, and His parting scene with those he deeply loved. Something happens over a meal that binds us — and He gave them hope — that there was going to be another meal together. Somewhere. Someday.
Sometimes I have close sisters in Christ over for an evening. We share a meal, our hearts, our praise, our longings. Just before this time of sheltering began, I had six “sisters” over, representing five different decades of life. We snuggled together on sofas, praying, laughing, loving. We left, buoyed up by the blessed tie that binds. What is that tie? It is the Spirit of the Living God, who raised Jesus from the dead, and lives in us, making us His, and therefore brothers and sisters with one another.
Now, during Covid 19, we fellowship through zoom, or here! I cherish each one of you. May we help one another come to a deeper understanding of communion and the family it represents.
Highlights from Last Week
Thank you for your grace to me as we dove into such a challenging eschatological passage, without help from Keller! (My heart sank when I saw he had leapfrogged over it!) I so appreciated your digging in with me. Eschatology (the study of end times) is so challenging for me, and there are so many strong and different interpretations from people who truly love the Lord, even within Reformed theology. I shared my hesitation with you last week, yet I felt that in going through Mark, we should cover that chapter as well, and it was good to do it together. What Sharon wrote meant a lot to me: “I appreciate this being a “safe” place, even when different opinions surface about eschatology, election and other “hard” subjects.” I admit I’m happy to get to this week and “The Feast” for what is most important for us to understand is that Jesus is coming back, we must be ready, and He has prepared for us a wedding feast, a “marriage,” and a place for us that is beyond our wildest imaginations in His Father’s house. We will be together as family!
Another highlight from last week that goes so well with our theme this week comes from Chris, who gave a link to an article I’d love you to read and comment on. Chris wrote:
I have to keep warming myself at that fire because I am prone to wander. Thank you, Dee, and my blog sisters for keeping this place as a sure and steady blaze. Another thing I thought of while pondering this was one of the plenary sessions at a Christian Counseling and Education Foundation conference was by Alasdair Groves, it had such an impact on me. He posited that the ‘treasure in heaven’ we were storing up was the ways we invest in one another. It had such an impact on me. As an introvert committed too often to my own comfort, I can have the tendency to avoid people while simultaneously desiring deep relationships. This teaching helps me be more intentional about my interactions with others, people who are treasures of Christ. He turned the message of the session into a blog post. Here is the link if you would like to read it:
- What stands out to you from the above and why? If you read the article Chris suggested, what stood out?
- In what ways might the blood of the lamb be a closer bond than the blood of biology?
Monday: What Happened “Before The Feast”
The disciples did not understand what Jesus meant when He said He was headed to Jerusalem to die. But there was one who seemed to understand, and I like to think she ministered to Him as He faced His agony.
3. Read Mark 14:1-11
A. What were the chief priests and teachers of the law endeavoring to
do, and why did they hope to do it before Passover?
B. Describe what Mary of Bethany did, finding all the details you can. (A
fuller account is in John 11.)
C. Why was she rebuked, and how did Jesus defend her?
D. How might Mary have been dying to any possible idol of:
E. How do you see the “expulsive power of a new affection” working in Mary? How does that work in you? (Be specific.)
F. Keller writes in this chapter: “All real life-changing love is substitutionary sacrifice.” What does he mean? How do you see this in Mary?
G. Pray for yourself to have this kind of love.
H. What happened at the end of this account? (verses 10-11) What idol do you think motivated Judas?
Tuesday: The Lamb of Passover
4. Read Mark 14:12-16
A. What do the disciples ask?
B. How does Jesus tell them to find “His” room?
C. How do you think this impacted the disciples when it happened?
5. Read Mark 14:17-21
A. What does Jesus tell them, and how do they react?
B. What did each ask Him? Why, do you think?
C. What does He say about the one who will betray Him?
5. Read the first two pages of “The Feast” in Keller’s book, stopping after Mark 14:12-16 is printed. Share your notes and comments.
Wednesday: The Bread and The Wine
6. Read first in Keller’s book, following where Mark 14:12-16 is printed to the headed “The Main Course.” Share your notes and comments.
7. Read Mark 14:22-26
A. Instead of saying, as was said in Passover, “This is the bread of our
affliction, ” what does Jesus say, and how was this the bread of His
B. When Jesus says, “This is the blood of the covenant,” what is He
saying? How will this blood bring us into the feast of the King?
C. When you take communion, what do you want to remember from
this that will make communion more meaningful to you?
8. Read Mark 14:27-31 and summarize what happens here.
9. What does the above and tell us about our hearts? How could you pray
for yourself here?
Thursday: The Main Course
10. Read the section called “The Main Course” in Keller’s book and share your notes and comments.
Friday: The Last Course
11. Read this last section in the chapter “The Feast” and share your notes and comments.
12. How can you “take in and digest Christ?”
13. Keller closes this chapter with a quotation from Alec Motyer. How does this show that those in the Old Testament were saved by faith, as are we?
14. What is your take-a-way this week and why?
12. How can you take in and digest Christ? I really ponder this question… I know I take in Christ when I make him Lord of my life. He is my all and all. He gives me new life, he gives me strength and he gives me hope. I guess I digest Christ when I eat of the bread and drink of the cup, remembering his suffering for me. This is a marvelous feast!
13. The Old Testament saints were saved by faith, I believe, when they trusted in God’s promises to them; and as he made a covenant with them to be their God and they to be his people, following him in obedience. Even though they disobeyed, he forgave them when they came in repentance.
14.My take away is to be more thankful for all that Christ has done for me and more thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ and of our inheritance when we gather in the future kingdom and “the trees and the hills will clap and dance!”
Love how you are pondering and praising, Shirley.