Think of this table as a picture of all that God gives us. We are at Godís table now, but there is a sense in which we are never absent from Godís table. All that we have is from God, and therefore, it is all meant to be food for us.
So, what must we do with the gifts of God? This meal teaches us. We give thanks for them and share them. In a moment I will give thanks for the bread and the wine, and then we will share them, remembering Christ, proclaiming Christ, sharing Christ. So too we must all do the same with the gifts we receive day by day. Give thanks, remember, share.
But what about the hardships? What about sickness? What about uncertainty, strained relationships? Everything comes from the Lord, and we are continually at His table. Will you complain at the Lordís table? Is Christ a poor host? A poor cook? No, He is the best host, the perfect cook, and He continually prepares a table for you.
So think about your week, your month, your year, your life. Grab hold of it in your head and in your heart Ė all of it Ė the good things, the hard things, messy things, and when I lift up the bread in a minute, I want you to lift it all up to God in Christ. You are not lifting it up on your own. You are lifting it all up in Christ who was lifted up for all of it. He was lifted up on the cross in order to draw all men to Himself. And this drawing of all men to Himself included you and it included all that is in you, all that you are. How could Christ draw you to Himself if it did not include your pain, your suffering, your failures, your uncertainty, your fear? It had to include all of it.
So when I lift up the bread, you lift up your lives, your tomorrows, your yesterdays, your everything. And when I give thanks, you give thanks for your life in Christ. Believe in Christ, trust Him for all of it, and give thanks to Him for all of it. And then as I break the bread and the men begin to pass it around, and you pass the trays down the rows, ask God to show you how to share what He has given to you. These are the gifts of God.
So Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ.