It is day three of our fast and we're halfway through! How is it going with you? I began the fast while on holiday with friends so ate with them on Monday evening, but apart from that I've been food-free. I’m trying to go without food until Friday, my approach being to 'just give it a go'. We'll see!
As for us all, I can’t wait to hear about your experiences. Those experiences in the comments are often my favorite part of the January fast. It is always an adventure hearing about the ups and downs of fasting and the wonderful things that follow.
Now to communion today:
I would say us SUMites identify strongly as people of covenant. We’re intentional about our connection with our spouse and with God, and the whole concept of covenant drives us deeply. Our faith difference necessitates it.
This covenant mindset helps us sympathize with Jesus’ covenant that He carried so deeply. In His case, He carried a deep commitment to His future church. In giving us His body and blood, He offered an unbreakable promise to us -- A covenant of salvation and protection.
Yesterday, in thinking about 'covenant', God seemed to point me to the passage where Jesus famously looked at Jerusalem like a mother hen:
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' " (Matthew 23:37-39, NIV).
It took a while for me to link this to covenant and communion, but now I’ve sat with it I see Jesus anticipating two core aspects of His covenant: Gathering and covering.
My beloved children, how I long to gather you!
My beloved children, how I long to cover you!
In communion He gathers us to partake, and He offers His blood as a covering of protection. We have every opportunity to reject it. But we receive it, say ‘yes’ and shout in our hearts, like the people who welcomed Him with palm leaves on Palm Sunday.
This particular fast, one of my personal learnings has been just how fiercely protective God is of me. When He says He covers me, He really does mean that His wings and eyes are on my family. It also means He will do what it takes to make sure our spiritual lives are healthy and our souls are saved. He does that because I've invited Him in and said 'Your will be done in my family'. Because of the ways in which He has been speaking to me about covering, at this point I can say I've reached complete peace about my family's salvation: Bryce my husband, Travis my 15 year old, and Miles my little one at 13.
So, in reflecting on all this, I take my cup right now – as this post goes live - and am thinking of you all. I eat His Body and drink His Blood and I say this:
Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!
(Luke 19:38, NKJV).
Let's enjoy our communion today and thank God for His gathering of us and His covering.
Now over to you: How is your fast going and what you are learning?