Meditation for Monday October 15, 2018

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him.  
2Tim. 2:11
Consider this alternative version of the Lord’s Supper:
The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, sat at table with His disciples and there suddenly appeared on the table a golden crown.  Jesus lifted up the crown, and when He had given thanks, He passed it among his disciples saying, “This is my crown, which is for you.  Take it and put it on, each one of you.  Do this in remembrance of me.  For whenever you place this crown on your head, you proclaim the Lord’s victory until He comes.”
Why didn’t Jesus choose this as a sign of remembrance?  Why not call us to remember Him with a symbol of His ultimate victory instead of the graphic reminders of His suffering and death on a cross?  Wouldn’t a celebration of His resurrection be enough to inspire hope for us in the worst of our circumstances?
At a recent Imago Dei fellowship we explored, at a very personal level, the nature of lost things in life—lost health, lost relationships, lost hope, lost opportunities.  We all expect more from life and it is so disappointing when our experience falls short of the hopes we had for ourselves.  We feel robbed, short-changed, somehow singled-out by this diminishment of our expectations.  And it seems especially unfair when we can readily think of scores of people who do not suffer similar losses. 
Where is God when our circumstances end up being so much less than we conceived possible?  Where is Jesus when we are down about our lives?  Where is the hope that comes from His victory when it doesn’t seem to apply to us?  Our ritual of remembrance, the bread and wine of Eucharist, answers us in those times in the same way as when we are feeling on top of the world—He is right there with us.
We celebrate Communion.  We contemplate how Jesus curiously invites us to form an intimate relationship with Him around this symbol that commemorates His place of greatest loss.  The broken Body and poured Blood that these elements represent invite us to come and fellowship with Jesus at the point of His greatest sense of bankruptcy, His ultimate aloneness, and the apparent sacrifice of all His life opportunities.  And it is from such a place that we are called to draw realistic hope.  Take and eat, every one of you.  In such places of loss, He stands with us.
No other religion celebrates, in the way we do, the signs of their leader’s vulnerability.  Jesus invites us to do just that.  No other God personally demonstrates grace, even in the diminishment of life.  Jesus does just that.  That the Lord Himself would invite us to the very depths of lostness, and assure us that He stands there with us, victorious, is what makes Christianity the precious pearl that it is.
Rob Des Cotes
Imago Dei Christian Communities
(written for May 4, 2006)
For Group Discussion:
1.      Consider a time when you have felt a ‘lostness’ in your life, or a place of great desolation. What was your response to God in that?
2.      How does Jesus’ vulnerability and humility strike you, as you consider your hopes and expectations of God and life?
3.      Do you have a sense that Jesus is standing with you in the changing or difficult situations in your life? How do you experience that?
For Prayer:
Help us, O God, to recognize that you are standing with us in the hard places of our lives. Thank you for the gift of grace you offer us in Jesus.