Today’s Thought: Have you challenged yourself with Lenten reflection?
[Jesus] said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” (Mark 14:24-25)
Today, we reach the halfway point of Lent. From the beginning, I challenged us to look closer at what the Lenten season asks of us:
- Reflection on our relationship with God.
- Repentance for ways we have damaged that relationship.
- Recalibration of our lives to the will of God.
- Recommitment to loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
As we enter the second half of Lent, let’s rededicate ourselves to those challenges. I also believe it’s appropriate to turn our attention during this second half of Lent to the challenges that Jesus faced when—at the will of the Father—he became of two natures, fully human and fully divine.
I’d like to begin by meditating on the covenant between God and humankind as recorded in Luke 22:7-20: Jesus’s institution of the Holy Eucharist.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.”
They asked him, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?”
“Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.”
So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Thursday’s Theologian: Timothy Keller is an American pastor, theologian, and Christian apologist. Regarding the sacrament of Holy Communion, he writes: “…the Lord’s Supper is going back and renewing the original covenant. Jesus Christ dies, that’s the bridge between me and God. What’s the purpose of the Lord’s Supper? The Lord’s Supper is to get the intimacy back by renewing the covenant, re-living the idea of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for me.”