Communion had become a ritual of sorts.
'Take the bread.... Take the wine...This is my body broken for you...'
It had become something I just did....not something I truly embraced or fully understood.
Communion....The Lord's Supper....The Eucharist....was no longer considered a privilege - it had simply become something I participated in with my church every now and then.
Until......one Sunday this past summer.....
My husband and I served the bread and the juice and then we took our seats. I held the cup and I held the wafer and I was numb - as usual. No feeling. No recognition. Little faith. Mind wondering.....
...when all of a sudden....
He spoke a firm, penetrable, yet graciously gentle word to my crass heart:
"You are invited to the table, Kate. You need to get the significance of that."
How long had I been treating this invitation to know Christ as something I deserved? How long had I been treating this act of remembrance as just some pithy once-a-month tradition? When did I grow calloused to what this act represents?
I get to come to the table.
I get to.
And if you have accepted Christ - then you get to, too.
What a prideful, ignorant, forgetful people we can so easily become.
Far removed (we think) from who we were before we knew Him....we lose all the significance, don't we? We lose the significance of being allowed to come and participate and share and take part.
Shouldn't we relate a bit more with Ruth?
Ruth....a widowed foreigner among God's chosen people - she gleaned among the ears of grain in Boaz's field....picking up the remnant - picking up what was left behind by the reapers.
She was an outsider and she knew it.
She was in need, desperate, hungry, lowly...and she knew it.
Boaz - the owner of the field she was gleaning from? - he knew it too.
And in Chapter 2 verse 14 in this fascinating book....it says that Boaz told Ruth, "Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine. So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain.
Are we catching this? Are we catching the parallel?
We can't let this fly by us today.
Ruth - a woman shunned by others - accepted by Boaz....given the outright privilege of sitting at the table and ingesting bread and wine with his reapers....
We are Ruth.
We are outsiders being invited in. We don't deserve communion with Christ. We don't deserve to dine with Him. We don't deserve to even really enter into a relationship with Him.
It's something we get to do, remember.
It's a gift of grace.
Grace: Undeserved and unexpected kindness, goodwill, favor, blessing....
from superior to inferior....from Boaz to Ruth....from Christ to us.
Because of His gracious sacrifice....we sit at the table and food is passed our way.
The least we can do - is be all present and all in and fully awake, fully digesting - when we break the bread and take the cup with our faith family.
Go to the book of Ruth. It's short - it won't make too much of a dent in your day. But it will have a huge impact on your heart. As you read it - find them all....find all the parallels between Boaz and Christ, Ruth and us. There are many. You will see the Savior as you study it.
Just this morning - I sat and read these verses and it all came together for me. No commentary. Just Holy Spirit.
Go! And find all the ways Ruth's story with Boaz illustrates our story with Jesus.
You'll be blown away.
I'd love to discuss them all here - I'm itching to. But there's something about discovering Christ in scripture ourselves.
And I don't want you to miss the thrill.
So after you read Ruth.... and after you journal down Jesus in it all and thank Him for the grace....
The next time your church carries out Communion - really remember. Remember how we are like Ruth - and yet - He invites us to sit with Him anyhow.
It's a realization that will leave us feeling full. We will leave the table satisfied.
Full of Him - rather than full of ourselves....it's the only kind of filling that lasts....