Great Plains Daily Devotional for 10/10/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Alda UMC
Wood River: First UMC
Prairie Rivers District
York First UMC
Prairie Rivers District
District Superintendent
Elkhorn Valley District
Missouri River District
Donor Support Director
Camp Fontanelle
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 26:26-30

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take and eat. This is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many so that their sins may be forgiven. I tell you, I won’t drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Then, after singing songs of praise, they went to the Mount of Olives.

Today's Devotional

The food is so ordinary – just a bit of bread and a cup of wine. At the same time, it is also extraordinary.  Holy Communion, Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper. However, we name it, the simple meal is made extraordinary by the blessing, the invoking of the Holy Spirit, and the promise.

When I was a child and very young adult, Communion Sunday was not always looked upon with joy.  It only happened once a quarter. The old liturgy often meant that church lasted 90 or so minutes instead of 45-60 minutes (horrors!).  Or else the pastor gave only a brief meditation instead of a sermon. Often, pastors did not announce Communion Sunday in advance because some people would skip church if they knew what was coming. (That seems a sad commentary on the spiritual life of many church members, but that is what I observed.)  Perhaps, some people still don’t enjoy Communion Sunday, but at least (in many UM churches) they know what to expect on the first Sunday of the month! 

Holy Communion has always held a supremely special place in my spiritual life. As a pastor, it was one of my greatest joys to be able to preside at the table on the first Sunday of the month – and one of the things I most miss as a retiree. But occasionally I receive an invitation to supply pulpit somewhere on a first Sunday and have the honor of being the celebrant for Holy Communion.

Such was the case last Sunday. I preached and offered this holy meal to a congregation without a pastor. It was such a joy to invite the small congregation of worshipers to come to the Lord’s table and to observe how each person’s face reflected their thankfulness for the opportunity to receive the holy meal.

When I speak the words of invocation over the loaf and the cup, I am always cognizant of how the blessing and the invoking of the Holy Spirit transform a simple loaf of bread and a cup of grape juice into a deeply spiritual experience for so many people. There is the offer of physical nourishment in the bread and cup. There is the presence of the Holy Spirit. There is the promise that, one day, we will feast with Jesus at his heavenly banquet. And that is extraordinary.
                                                                                                -Robbie Fall, Retired Elder
                                                                                                Hutchinson, KS

Prayer for Reflection

Keep us mindful, Lord, that when we come to your table we are there as cherished family members – invited to the table to share in your promises.  Amen.


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