Lenten Devotion – Take and Eat

Lenten Music

Matthew 26:26-28
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

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To ponder
If we would freely confess on our own, we wouldn’t need a prompt.

“…They would rejoice and act like poor, miserable beggars who hear that a rich gift of money or clothes is being given out at a certain place; they would . . . run there as fast as they could so as not to miss the gift.  — Martin Luther, “The Large Catechism”

Take
When we teach table manners to children we say, “Don’t take food without asking,” “Don’t take more than your share,” and “Don’t take the last piece without offering it to someone else first.” And when we teach young ones about holy communion we talk about receiving, not taking. We show children how to layer their hands one on top of the other, slightly cupping them, ready to receive. Jesus commands us, however, to take the bread and cup. Take and eat. Do not be passive receivers. Take! Take what I am offering you. Drink. Drink from the cup. Be bold. Be sure. Be desperate even. Do not hold back from these gifts. Don’t wait. Take the very presence of God offered to you, given in a way that you can hold in your hands, forgiveness you can taste. As Luther would say, run after the gift as fast as you can. Take, eat!

Prayer
Fill us with a hunger, Lord, for your gift of redemption. Fill us with such hunger that we lose all hesitation, maybe even our manners, to take what you offer—forgiveness and love. Amen.

Source: Paul Hoffman. Wondrous Love. Augsburg Fortress. Kindle Edition