At our church, we end every service by celebrating the Lord’s Supper. After worship in song, prayer, and the preaching of God’s Word, gathering around the feast and remembering the broken body and shed blood of Jesus is powerful stuff. It’s a great reminder that it’s called communion for a reason, as Jesus invites us into fellowship with God and with one another.
Last week, as I approached the table, Jesus’ words from Matthew 5 popped into my mind:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6
I stared at the items on the table in front of me. Bread and wine…hunger and thirst.
Being that we’re in the midst of a series called “American Gods,” discussing the idolatry prevalent in all our hearts, the thought occurred to me: what am I hungry and thirsty for?
On good days, I’d say “Oh! I hunger and thirst for righteousness! Give me Jesus!” But truth be told, there are a whole lot of little idols hidden in this heart of mine. There are a lot of things that drive my appetites, and not all of them are holy.
I’d wager you might say the same.
Oh, how I want to appear righteous outwardly! But that leads to the worst possible prison of acting like you have it together while you’re falling apart at the seams within. That’s a freaking hamster wheel that just speeds up faster and faster until you collapse.
Yet deep down, deep in the recesses of this heart, I long for the One alone who can satisfy my hunger and thirst. Jesus said He was the bread of life (John 6:48). He said that if we thirst and come to Him, He’ll give us a drink that will fill us and flow out of our hearts like living water to others (John 7:37-38). How often I run to other things to provide what only He can deliver.
And one night, just before His crucifixion, death and resurrection, Jesus took up bread and wine, called them His body and blood and invited us all to a feast forever memorializing the sacrifice of perfect righteousness for the unrighteous, the gift of life to those who were dead, the Lamb of God taking away the sins of the world.
At this table, there is only one at the head…Jesus. We come, all of us, as equals, all broken and bruised, all sinful and weak, either hurters and hurting, all hungry and thirsty. We come as equals regardless of color, social status, fashion sense, coolness quotient, bank account amounts and education levels. Around this table, lives that would probably never have crossed paths are brought together by the God who left glories untold to become a servant to draw us near.
And there, around that table, the One who knew no sin yet became sin reminds us in bread and wine that He alone is our righteousness and salvation. And at that moment, every week as I raise the cup and eat the bread, that hunger and thirst deep within is satisfied. I know in those deep recesses of my soul that Jesus alone satisfies. Like the woman at the well, I realize I’m in the presence of the One who can forever quench my thirst (John 4:13)
God help me carry that with me for the next minute, the next hour, day, week, year…on into eternity. Let me always hunger and thirst for Jesus.