Communion: Give thanks

For the last several Sundays, I’ve been attending a new church. I’ve been part of a small group in some friends’ home for the last two years and over the summer, they took a much-needed break. The leaders began the group again, but this time on Saturday nights, which doesn’t work with my schedule since Saturday is my only “official” day off work in my speaking/writing business.

I decided to start attending a local traditional church on Sunday mornings, because one thing Ray hates for me to spend his hard-working money on is gas, driving to churches an hour away!

Communion bread and wine
Communion bread & wine
Resource: Pinterest

This morning the church had communion. I’ve always loved communion. There is something so holy and special about taking the bread and the wine (in this church’s case grape juice!), representing the precious body and blood of Christ.  

This is done in remembrance of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25; cf. Luke 22:18-20 and Matthew 26:26-28).

Roman Catholics consider the “Eucharist” (communion) the highlight of their Mass, the highest and most important form of prayer. The Mass is divided into two sections, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. They believe it actually turns into the body and blood of Jesus–called “transubstantiation.” (I don’t personally believe this, but many practicing Catholics do.)

For the Jew, bread was equated with the Torah, eating and understanding of the covenant of God. (cf. Deuteronomy 8:3).

The word “Eucharist” comes from:

  • the Greek eukharistia “thanksgiving, gratitude;” later “the Lord’s Supper”;
  • from eukharistos “grateful”;
  • from eu “well” + stem of kharizesthai “show favor”;
  • from kharis “favor, grace.”
Jesus on the cross
Jesus on the cross

To give thanksgiving; to be grateful; to show favor. When we take the Eucharist, this communion wafer or bread, this red wine or Welch’s grape juice, we give thanks and are grateful, we worship God, and remember what Jesus so selflessly did for us. To save us from this wretched body of sin and make us holy and right with God, so we can live with God for eternity in heaven. 

He died so we could live. 

One Thousand Gifts

Author and Speaker Ann VosKamp writes in her book One Thousand Gifts: “Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.”

It’s easy to be thankful in the good times, the blessed times. But what about the bad?

My precious sis Maria
My precious sis Maria

Last night I had a dream about me and my sister Maria. She and I were both afraid and angry about something. We went into this place that was pitch black, where God was. I sensed His holy presence there and felt the fear of the Lord, the kind that caused prophets and priests to fall flat on their faces before Him. He spoke to me in the dream and said, “Give your anger and fear to Me.”

When I texted my sister the dream today, she asked, “Why was it pitch black?” I explained that in the Bible, God is sometimes described as being surrounded by darkness: Deuteronomy 5:22, Exodus 20:21, and Psalm 97:2. He is a dark mystery we can’t see, and must search for. 

In the darkest night, God’s light and glory shines the most, and we can still give thanks for who He is, no matter the outcome.

Ann writes in One Thousand Gifts: “It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us…”

Christ is most present to us, always. You are not alone. Give thanks. Remember what Jesus did.

 

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My dream this morning

Jesus on the cross
Jesus on the cross

I don’t usually tell my dreams publicly to people. But I had a dream earlier this morning that I believe was from God for me and others. Here is the dream and what I believe is the interpretation.

Dream: There was a banquet for supper. The hour was late, about 9 p.m. I was welcoming people as they came in, pointing them to another room where they could get the appetizers and wine. One man asked where the room was and I gave him directions. I was telling the guests we were about to start the banquet and to get ready. My grandmother Gentry was sitting at the head of the table. She was thanking me and giving me credit for helping so much with preparing the feast. I was humbled, not wanting to call attention to myself. Everyone was excited and couldn’t wait to eat and was hungry.

Interpretation: God has prepared a wedding feast for His people–the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:6-9, ESV). The hour is late; Jesus is about to come.

Numbers have spiritual meanings. The number 9 is symbollic of divine completeness, finality and judgment; Christ died at the 9th hour of the day to make the way of salvation open to everyone. There were 9 people stoned, 9 special widows, and 9 people afflicted with blindness in the Bible. There were 9 judgments of God. (Haggai 1:11)

There are 9 fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) begins at sunset on the 9th day of the 7th Hebrew month. The number 9 relates to prayer and intercession -Peter and John went to the temple at the hour of prayer being the 9th hour (Acts 3:1). Cornelius was fasting and at the 9th hour, he prayed and had a vision (Acts 10:30)

I believe the room with the appetizers and wine represents that God has “appetizers” and wine for us to enjoy- the wine of the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)

The man asking for directions to the room represents people who are lost. We need to share about Jesus with others, giving them directions. We need to tell others about being filled with the Holy Spirit.

My grandmother Gentry in real life was a very good, loving, wise person. I believe she personifies Wisdom and God’s love in the dream. (Proverbs 1:20)

My grandmother giving me credit and thanking me for my help before the banquet represents that God sees all you are doing, all your labor of love for Him. He will give you credit and reward you. (Ephesians 6:8)

Everyone at the banquet being hungry represents the hunger of people today for God. Share with them God’s good word and about Jesus. (John 4:32)

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