52 Weeks at the Table – Week 5
Once there was an alliance of five kings who went to war against four kings. They took captive the wrong person – Lot, nephew of Abram. And Abram mustered an elite fighting force, who defeated them and returned the plundered treasures to their original owners. “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.’ And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.’ Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Bread and wine: ancient symbols of hospitality and graciousness. Not too many years ago, a family would be welcomed to a new home by their community with the gift and blessing of “bread, that this household may never know hunger; wine that it may never thirst for joy and prosperity.”
Many years after the meal in Abram’s honor, the psalmist King David wrote a messianic poem, referring to the incident, prophesying that the Lord God would one day judge the nations through a King who was “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” And the writer of the letter to the Hebrews closes the prophecy, declaring that Jesus of Nazareth was that king, that priest … that bread, that wine.
A Prayer Over the Bread
Lord God of Israel, thank You for Your gift and blessing of bread that we might never know hunger again … the bread of heaven itself, Your Son, Jesus, the King and Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. May that blessing of His presence rest upon us now as it did those who shared His table then. We recognize His sacrifice and His presence now in bringing You this prayer. Amen.
A Prayer Over the Cup
Lord God of all creation, we give You praise for the blessing of anticipating the feast of your kingdom, purchased with the blood of Christ, present in this cup. May we always give You – not just a tenth – but all, as He gave all for us. He redeemed and rescued us from captivity to sin, and brings eternal treasure to our lives. May this blessing of generosity fill us completely as our appetite for your heavenly table is whetted by this cup. This we pray through the King of Shalom, the Prince of Peace: Amen.