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The Feast of Corpus Christi

Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Today is the feast of Corpus Christi, the body and blood of Christ. As I partook of the bread and the wine this morning, kneeling at the altar rail in the local church I attend, I thought of how we are all equal at the cross, all humbled, all laid low that we might be lifted up by Christ.

This text from Mark reminds me of the three tenses of The Lord's Supper. Every time we partake of the bread and wine of Communion we look back to something in the past. We remember Jesus sharing the Passover with his disciples and saying, this is my body, this is my blood, for you. In turn, Jesus and his disciples were looking back to something even further in the past, God's deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt. As we take Jesus into our bodies and souls we are set free from all that binds us.

But there is also something present about The Lord's Supper. When we partake in faith of the bread and wine, trusting in Jesus alone to save us, we are nourished spiritually in the present. Jesus makes his presence known to us. I think God knows how much we need physical touch and that is why he has given to us the physical elements of bread and wine to make his presence known.

I like what C. S. Lewis says about this in Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer....
Yet I find no difficulty in believing that the veil between the worlds, nowhere else (for me) so opaque to the intellect, is nowhere else so thin and permeable to divine operation. Here a hand from the hidden country touches not only my soul but my body. Here the prig, the don, the modern in me have no privilege over the savage or the child. Here is beg medicine and strong magic.
The early church fathers called Holy Communion the medicine of immortality.

Thirdly, there is something still future about the Lord's Supper. Jesus said to his disciples: "Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

What a day that is to look forward to, when we will drink of the fruit of the vine anew with Jesus in the kingdom of God! Every time we partake of the Lord's Supper in this life it reminds us that we have something to look forward to in the life to come.

Thanks be to God!

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