52 Weeks at the Table – Week 46
It is a question from an angel that perplexes and haunts the women who visit the tomb on the Sunday morning after Jesus was crucified: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” The same question will haunt and perplex those who gather at the Lord’s table if they come seeking only a dead body. Resurrection has taken place! The body given by Jesus is now gloriously transformed, so much so that John’s gospel says that He stood there near the tomb and asked Mary Magdalene twice why she was crying – and she didn’t recognize Him (John 20:11-18).
At the table there is room for mourning over sin that causes death. But sorrow must make room for the joy that comes from life restored. It is an opportunity to celebrate the life that Jesus lived in a mortal body and now lives in the body of His church. Here we remember Him, in totality, not just as a dead body, but as alive and alive again. It is His resurrection that secures our own; the reason for the hope that lies within us. For the table proclaims that through Jesus, renewed life springs unbound from the prison of sin, death and decay; that His very presence in our lives nourishes and renews us from within – in mind and heart now; in body and eternally when He returns.
A Prayer Over the Bread
Powerful and loving God, whose mercy triumphs over sin and death, we ask Your blessing on this bread – the body of Your Son Jesus, who brings us life through His life. Thank you for making us a part of His body in this world, and may we always remember Him before others as living, vital, eternal, and the Christ – just as we do in this prayer. Amen.
A Prayer Over the Cup
From of old, righteous Father, we have been told that the life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11) – and we recognize the life of Jesus poured out for us in this cup. Bless the cup, we ask, and our lives as we drink in His life and live it among others. Make us vessels of His life to those who have no knowledge of it, no faith in it, no hope through it. May this be so for as long as we live: that He lives in us. Amen.