Every once in awhile, JD and I are asked to give some thoughts before the Lord’s Supper at church. They typically have something to do with the table as a liturgical practice, but they also recognize the function of the table as a communion outside of the church building. I want to record them on the blog because they are something that JD and I have worked on together to put into words. And words go on the blog.
“Do this in remembrance of me.”
Jesus said these words at a table the night before his death.
A few chapters before, Luke recounts a story that Jesus told of the Prodigal Son. Though “prodigal” is often used synonymously with “wayward”, it actually means “wastefully extravagant; having or giving something on a lavish scale.”
In the story, the Prodigal Son is a man who deserts his home to spend his inheritance wastefully and extravagantly, bringing shame on his family. But when he returns home, to his humble surprise, he is welcomed, celebrated, and given a place at the table.
Ironically, Jesus, too, is the Prodigal Son–he has given lavishly, he could be considered wastefully extravagant, giving his life and dignity to us, for us.
He did this in the hope that we, too, would come home, that we would sit at the table in the place left for us.
So this charge by Jesus, “Do this in remembrance of me,” is twofold:
1. We are remembering the place at the table for the original Prodigal Son, Jesus.
2. We are remembering the places left open for those who we hope will come home, who have a place at the table. There will always be room here for you, for me, for Jesus, for our brothers and sisters returning home.