Christianity is not a religion of safety or precautions. We serve the God who made this place, and even when it was perfect, it was dangerous. There was a tree in the middle of the garden that was off limits, and pretty soon there was a talking dragon. God made even the perfect world dangerous. After Adam and Eve sinned, it got even more dangerous, with sin, and thorns, and pain, and enmity, and death. And it pleased God for His people to learn to live by faith in a dangerous world.
Everyone will face trouble. Everyone will fail. And eventually everyone dies. There’s no getting around it. There is only walking through it. The only question is how. And will your trouble be blessed? How can trouble be blessed? How can hardship, suffering, or death be blessed? It’s blessed by God’s love. This is the thoughtful, intentional love of a Father, and our grateful, joyful response to that love in the midst of difficulty. Our Father in Heaven is more hovering than any father on earth. He has told the story of the world, and He placed His love on His people from before the world began, foreknowing them, predestining them, preparing all things for their good and His glory.
This means that every danger, every trial, every difficulty was hand-picked by our Father for us, with love, and He did not pick our trials so that we would fail. He picked them so that we would learn to truly live, so that we would learn to love like He loves, so that we would learn to praise Him and give Him thanks.
This meal is a picture of that love: Christ crucified for sinners. He went into danger for us. He faced down the dragons of sin and death for us. And because His trouble was blessed, God raised Him from the death. He offers this bread and wine to us as an invitation to follow Him into trouble. But not just any kind of trouble, into the trouble of adventure, the trouble of living life to the fullest, the trouble of life blessed by the eternal love of our Father.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.