52 Weeks at the Table – Week 31 (Alternate)
Twice in scripture – Ezekiel 3 and Revelation 10 – a spokesperson of God is told to eat a scroll containing a prophecy to be proclaimed, God’s Word for His people. God wanted His Word to be taken internally … digested and comprehended and made a part of His spokesperson.
The apostle John tells us in the opening chapter of his gospel that the Word of God for His people is Jesus. Jesus came to this world, not by whirlwind or meteor, but as a baby laid to rest in a manger. We get our English word “manger” from the French verb manger, “to eat.” Jesus’ mother cradled Him in a food trough. He came to be consumed – consumed by His passion for His Father’s house; for the people He came to populate it with … you and me. John recounts this zeal for God’s house early in his gospel,1 where Jesus drives the selfishness and convenience and animal nature from the temple; where He predicts that God’s temple will be destroyed, and He will raise it up in three days.
Jesus’ birth, His life, His teaching, His miracles of helping, His death, and His resurrection – these are the gospel; what all scripture points toward. This is Jesus, the Word of God, not in a nutshell … but in a morsel of bread and a sip of the blood of the grape. Let’s proclaim it together.
A Prayer Over the Bread
Our God, who put Your word in the mouths of Ezekiel and John on Patmos, You speak to us now through Your very own Son, and that Word made flesh – whose body is seen in this bread – enters our mouths to give us strength to testify to that Word with our mouths. This is His body, broken for us. It is as sweet as honey with the promise of redemption and resurrection. It is also bitter with the suffering and death He endured that we might live. Help us always to remember this, whether hungry for the Word, or filled with its grace – through Jesus: Amen.
A Prayer Over the Cup
Creator and Giver of life, we see in this cup the blood of Your Son, and we remember that it flowed from His body at His crucifixion. Yet we also remember that His life-blood flowed within His veins and arteries as He lived, and lived again, for us. We remember what He taught, how He showed Your love, how He brought life back to those who had died. We, too, were once dead in our sins … and this blood brought us back to a life worth living; a life that need not end. For all this we give our humble thanks: Amen.