Monday, July 9: Take and eat; this is my body
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 26:26-30
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
These words, very frequently used in the celebration of communion, are familiar to most of us—and perhaps too familiar to some, who may unconsciously allow them to become background noise of a grand and important sacrament. With that in mind, what do they really say? Go back and reread this passage—slowly and intently—at least a couple of times, and watch for the word or idea that stands out most to you today. Ask God for more clarity and wisdom on that element.
Jesus, we celebrate that you are always with us, always among us. And especially when we come together with others in the community of Christ, through the sharing of the bread, the wine, and our prayers, we celebrate being joined to you and, through you, to each other. Help us to see your presence at that table as a picture of your constant presence with us and of our ongoing bond to one another.