Saturday, December 21, 2013


Emmanuel......God with us...

That has been echoing in my heart for a number of days.

It all began as I was reflecting upon the Lord's Supper.
Communion, which is what I grew up calling it and which I feel is most appropriate.

Jesus instituted this Supper at the last Passover that He ate with His disciples.
We find the description of that meal in the Twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew.
"And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take eat; this is My body."  And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.'"
Luke adds to this in the Twenty-second chapter of his gospel writings.
"Do this in remembrance of Me."
Communion is a time for us to stop and meditate on Jesus' great sacrifice for us.
A time to stop and thank Him afresh for this great gift.

For me there are added dimensions.
It is a reminder that what unites us is that blood which was shed for us.

Many years ago I had attended a women's retreat held by the New England district of the C&MA.  The final session brought us all back into one room where we shared communion together.
The district superintendent had come to administer it.  It so happened that this man had been my pastor for a few years in New York, so I knew that he always brought a sense of the holy to the table and that day was no different.

God revealed something fresh to my spirit that day.
As the cup was shared, a vision came to me of a river of blood flowing through and encompassing everyone of us.
It was the life giving blood of Jesus.
The blood that cleanses us, sets us free and unites us.

It was a very solemn experience for me and I was humbled by it.

Papa also uses the Lord's supper to remind me of His Presence.
You see, the One who willingly shed His blood for us, also promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us.  I believe that what Jesus was inferring about the bread being His body and the cup His blood was that He would, indeed, be very present as we partake of that bread and that cup; that He wanted us to stop and take in the fact of His Presence.

The fact of His Presence...
 His Presence which arrived in that manger over two thousand years ago.

Luke reminds us in his first chapter that this truth was foretold by Isaiah.
"Behold, the virgin shall be with Child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel," which translated means, "God with us.'"
The final step in my thought process settled on the fact that not only is He with us, but within us!
Hear Jesus' words found in John fourteen, verse Twenty-three,
"Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him."
  A song was popular many years ago has joined the chorus in my heart.
"Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
His name is called Emmanuel
God with us, revealed in us
His name is called Emmanuel
We love Him so, we love Him so,
His name is called Emmanuel"
God is with us!
Merry Christmas!!

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