While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body, do this in remembrance of Me.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
~Jesus, Making the Promise of The Kingdom of Heaven, in Matthew 26, and Luke 22
Oh beloved, it is true.
The world we now inhabit is a place of pain. We lose people, places, performances, along with homes, health, and honor. Yeah, there are these few moments intermingled where we taste it. Just for a moment though, and the feeling falters back into the daily grind of us men and women trekking through the lowlands of our Path in Him.
And some days – maybe many days for many of you – it feels like too much. There is no getting ahead. Oh, we might have some happy happenstances – and we have learned to enjoy them. But somehow, all of the good in our past seems to fade to a memory that we can barely recall. And, the memories of the pain, present themselves as present to us, even though they may be many years yon our past.
We go to church. We listen. We take notes. We sing the beautiful songs. We believe. We know that Him and His grace has done something wonderful… We even learn that our salvation goes beyond just saving us from hell, but also saving us from ourselves… We learn to reckon it true.
However, being an accountant working to reconcile accounts, is not a skill we would need in our spiritual life. And, to be honest, it does help. Still, we are weary with some Great Homesickness. We can’t shake it off. Nothing fills us up really.
And, OHHHHHHH, the pain of so many things…
However, there are moments – if we allow them – where catch a taste of the Ages to come.
Wait?!? Did it flicker in your spirit? Listen. Read the passage. Sometimes we are pulled away from the simple by the gargantuan. And beloved, the New Covenant oathed to us by The Truth Himself is bigger than big! Even so, as Our Lord Jesus often did, He spoke in harmonious “levels.”
Can we see it?
In the physical, Jesus was showing how His very Life would become bread and drink for our souls. And this takes us a little deeper. As Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote, we are to” live on Christ.” But sometimes, it is the method or “way” that Jesus is sharing with us. He gives us little ‘how-to’ nuggets in His teaching.
Jesus, in the moment of the Last Supper, was remembering an infinite, eternal Life within the ‘dance’ of the Trinity. Jesus was remembering too, all of the pain of all the human race from start to finish (Remember, G_d can do this. He was, is, and is to come all at once). He was remembering the place of utter joy within the Presence of His Father; bound by the Chain of Love – a Holy Spirit that is Both of Them, but unique.
He was remembering the moment when you (and this fool of a writer) will see Him face to Face. He is remembering the utter Joy of pulling you into His arms, and telling you just what you needed to hear in that moment, as He takes you by the hand to present you with Great Joy to The Father!
But, what about us?
Remember the same things.
Remember the moment where we saw our own sin; REALLY saw it for the treason and spiritual adultery that it is. We were in a moment so convicted that we truly could not stand it. We wretched at our wretchedness and turned away from the foul sin in our soul’s camp.
Remember the moment where somehow His Grace flipped the switch in your heart. Suddenly we wanted to obey. Suddenly you actually wanted to be good. You turned away from the fetid mess of your own self and the world and begged Him to save us, and if it would please Him, could we please?
Remember when His Spirit answered. “Yes child, come. Welcome dear one. Welcome indeed!”
Remember finally knowing that you were known. Remember suddenly knowing we were not alone any more. Finally, we felt like we could make it through the falling darkness of the world.
Remember, through the tiny foretastes of the Ages to come, shared by His Holy Spirit with our spirit, where we know everything is going to be more than alright. It is, and will be truly right and good.
Remember the moments that were wonderful in this life too. That trip home, the incredible game, an amazing concert, a sermon that lifted you up. An excellent opportunity. A honeymoon, and the joy of becoming one with our spouse. A meal that you still can taste, it was so good. A look from a friend when you were down – a look that gave you just enough to get through. Remember feeling valued by a teacher. Remember the moments where you made someone’s day with a simple act of love.
Remember when you were hurt, betrayed, abused, beaten, raped, abandoned, and left for dead. Remember the times where some of us have had to do some terrible things to survive. Remember the theatre of operations that took your brothers, and received the last full measure of their strength. Remember even more dangerous fields of the drug-world, where we have watched our friends die. Remember the pain you have caused others. Remember the pain you have caused yourself.
Ouch. Oh G_d, I don’t want to!!!!
We can now, dear ones, and we should. He was there.
This same Jesus, was showing us in the making of the New Covenant. Jesus brought all of His eternal consciousness (all past, present, future) to that moment. All of the weight of all the pain each of us has was crushing Him. All of the Joy of the victory that lay on the other side of hideous torture sustained Him through the shame of it all. All of it. Jesus remembered.
And, catch this dear ones. The only moment of despair for Him, was when He sensed the communion with His Father collapsing under the weight of the sin of the world; my sin, and yours.
The only time He despaired, is when He thought He was alone. Read this again: Jesus only despaired when He sensed that He was alone. HE took the isolation. We don’t have to live in it. We can’t: it is not there.
So, are you feeling alone in this world? You are not alone. And, you never really have ever been alone. For the One Who foreknew you would seek Him, has always been alongside you, guaranteeing safe passage into His House on that Great Day… Yes, He was there for the good. And… He was there in the bad. You made it through. Maybe you thought you made it on your own? It is likely time to remember a bit more clearly…
Tonight is your night. They don’t have to be glimpses any more. You are greatly Loved. Love Himself has been alongside you in the happiest moments of your life, and in the moments that don’t make any sense – in any universe. Remember. Remember.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Think About This: “In what strange quarries and stoneyards the stones for the celestial wall are being hewn! Out of the hillsides of humiliated pride; deep in the darkness of crushed despair; in the fretting and dusty atmosphere of little cares; in the hard cruel contacts that man has with man; wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways—there God is hewing out the pillars for his temple.” -Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)