Thought for the week

Thought for the Week provides a Verse, Thought and Prayer for the week ahead.  We trust you will find these helpful and encouraging in these times.

Verse for the week:

1 Peter 5 verse 7

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

Thought for the week:

When I talk to friends and family about the last year or so, and the difference Covid-19 has made to our lives (and who talks about anything else these days?), a recurring theme is the wish that we could meet together to share a cup of coffee or a meal, or just to get the family or friends all together (indoors) for dinner and a catch up. I guess that one of the most human, most relational, most community-building things we can ever do it to share food – and friendship.

Jesus enjoyed meeting and eating, including with some people that others in his time thought of as “undesirables”. And in his parables, he often referred to eating, to sharing a meal. He even went so far as to say that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who prepared a great feast. (see Matthew 22)

And at what we call The Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples (and by extension all his followers for all time) that they should share a meal to remember him. Christians throughout the ages, and still throughout the world today, remember when we celebrate (depending on our denomination) the Eucharist, Communion, The Lord’s Supper, The Breaking of Bread ……

And many I’ve spoken to will say that this is the meal they have missed most during these periods of lock down and restriction. Why is it so special?

I was thinking about this when the words of a favourite song came to mind – it’s called “To the Table” and the version I like most was sung by Zach Williams to a “congregation” of convicts in Harding Prison, Nashville, Tennessee. This made these words even more poignant:

Hear the voice of love that’s calling,

There’s a chair that waits for you,

And a Friend who understands everything you’re going through

So bring it all to the table,

There’s nothing He ain’t seen before.

For all your sin, all your sorrow and your sadness,

There’s a Saviour, and He calls:

Bring it all to the table. 1

Eugene Peterson puts the relevance of Communion beautifully in his book “Reversed Thunder”, when he says:

The Eucharistic meal …… is the primary way Christians remember, receive and share the meaning of our salvation …… the many-dimensioned reality of salvation is preserved not by a truth that we must figure out, or by an ethical behaviour that we must carry out, but in a meal to eat. Not everyone can comprehend a doctrine; not everyone can obey a precept; but everyone can eat a piece of bread, drink a cup of wine and understand a simple statement – my body, my blood. 2

I pray that the day will come sooner, rather than later, when we can come together to share ….. and remember.

1 © Wordspring Music Lic, Tony Wood Songs                       2 © 1988 by Eugene H Peterson

Prayer for the week:

Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

This week why not come to Jesus, give all your worries and cares to him, whatever they are, “bring it all to the table”?

He has promised that he will take your heavy burdens and give you rest.

Amen.