One of the striking things about how God most often works in our lives is that he operates to give us grace in the common, unnoticeable, routine “liturgies” of the day. When we expect him to reveal himself in a supernatural fireworks-like display of inspiration, he instead draws us in with the quiet, humble ritual of life. We expect fire from heaven; he speaks to us in the stillness of the morning with a cup of coffee (or tea!) and his Word, a hymn at church, a kind thought from a friend, or the Sunday worship service.
There certainly is the continuance of sorrow just days after Davin’s death, but the first Sunday back in church since then felt especially lonely. While each new day seems to bring the stabbing thought of something he won’t be doing with us, today the particular is worshipping with God’s people. But again, the Lord is so soft-spokenly kind at times to work through the subtle hand of providence, reassuring our hearts of his covenant love and correcting our mistaken line of thinking. He knows how to deal gently with the weak (Heb 5:2).
Today’s sermon was from 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, where Paul issues a portion of his teaching on the Lord’s Supper. From there the point was drawn out that the Lord’s Supper is the meal of God’s kingdom, giving us hope for the day when we will eat it anew with all of God’s children, angels, and the entire heavenly host. And even as we eat it today, we share it with those in heaven who are worshipping before the throne of God—in one sense we are all worshipping together today.
Like a signpost the meal points us to the day when we will eat it with them—with Davin and all the saints who have gone before us—at the heavenly banquet table of Christ’s fully realized kingdom. So we hope in God’s promise for the day of our reunion, and we rejoice in what we have today: a shared meal and shared worship with the heavenly mass of believers.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God (Hebrews 12:22-23).
May it be an encouragement to keep coming to the Lord’s service, around his meal of promise and transformation, for it is then that we join Davin in the fellowship of heaven, worshipping Christ. He is with us and we are with him when we gather as God’s people, and as we eat, God declares to each one of us, “You shall again eat face to face one day in my kingdom around my table.” The meal changes us today and offers the promise of reunion; so take and eat. God will bring us back together in only a little while.