Pastor Mark’s Devotions, April 9

“Eager Desire”

Jesus said to his disciples, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you…” Luke 22:15


Tonight, we celebrate Maundy Thursday. This night marks the “last supper” Jesus shared with his disciples. It was a special night. They would celebrate the feast of Passover. Passover is the meal that marked the Angel of Death “passing over” the Israelites in Egypt and ushered in their freedom. Jesus eagerly desired to share this meal with his followers. He wanted to “pass on” critical truth that would reveal the mystery of God and move forward their mission on earth. This meal was a sacred moment.

Jesus was excited to reveal that He was the true Passover Lamb that would take away the sin of the world. Moving forward, they would eat the bread and the wine and do this in remembrance of Him. He was excited to model for his friends the example of a servant. He expressed his heart in this moment as he washed his disciple’s feet. Jesus taught them that as he washed their feet, they were to serve one another and wash each another’s feet. Finally, he gave them a new message. He gave them a new commandment to love one another. He commanded them to love as God loves; agape love, unconditional love. And this expression of love was to be the hallmark that would distinguish them apart from the world. He said that they will show the world that they are his disciples by the love they have for each other. This meal was a holy moment.

Jesus shared many meals that were sacred and holy. Those meals changed lives. He shared meals where he expressed his heart and talked about God’s Kingdom. Jesus gathered for a meal with Zacchaeus, the tax collector and Simon the Pharisee. He shared a meal with Matthew and many other tax collectors and sinners. He shared a meal at a wedding in Cana. And he shared a meal that began with five loaves and two fish which ultimately fed over 5,000. He shared breakfast with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee after his resurrection. These were special moments. Important moments. Heart to heart moments.

Looking back, if there was one regular moment that set apart (made holy) my time with my kids –I would have to say it would be dinner time. Every night, the kids and I would sit around our table. I would fix a pretty simple combination around a meat, a starch, a vegetable and a salad. We learned that if we were to connect heart to heart, we had to turn off the television, shut off the music, silence the phones and eliminate the distractions. I miss those days. I loved fixing food and then having time to talk. We shared everyday things like school and work but often they shifted to more heartfelt, faith conversations.  We shared our day – surprises, stresses, concerns, victories. We would talk about what was on the news, goings on in the world – but eventually it would circle around to faith and fear and how God is woven into the fabric of our lives. I might not have always realized it – but those were rich times. Now I see them as sacred and holy moments.

What about you? If you are in the habit of eating dinner in front of the t.v. or your face is buried in some screen, I would like to encourage you to turn off the distractions. Gather around your table with whoever is near. Share from your heart why you believe this meal time is important and see if you can set it apart. Be vulnerable. Be expressive. Share your thoughts, your feelings, your dreams, your hopes and desires, your struggles, your frustrations, and don’t leave out your faith. Underneath it all – faith is the glue that holds it all together.

Every day, special moments are waiting for us around the regular dinner table. It’s more than just Passover or Thanksgiving once a year. Jesus modeled for us an example to follow. Let us break bread with him tonight. And also, let us break bread each day with those we love. Face to face. Heart to heart. Hand in hand.

If you want to hear more about Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples – you can go to our website and listen to our Maundy Thursday Worship Service online. AFTER YOUR DINNER of course!

From my heart to yours,

Pastor Mark