3/08/2010

Eating Bread in the Kingdom of God

Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God

Luke 14:15b

At my church this sentence is said every week before communion is distributed. I’ve been studying Luke recently, though, and this last Sunday I recognized the context. The comment is made to Jesus by a dinner guest. Jesus responds with a story that explains just who it is that will eat in the Kingdom: the parable of the great banquet.

Hearing that one sentence at church brought all of this flooding back. The great man’s bountiful generosity – “bring in the poor, the blind, the lame, the crippled” – and the incredible openness of the offer: “master, there is still room”.

Any time that conflict arises in the church, it’s hard to observe carefully and avoid the conclusion that we are all broken. Theology, pride, conviction, and general sinfulness are so intermixed that it is hardly possible to separate them.

But we broken ones are exactly the people whom Christ invites to His table. And watching us file up to the front for the Lord’s body and blood on that Sunday reminded me that we are a part of Christ’s church not because He has been formed in us, but because we know He has not. So I limped up to the altar rail, one cripple among many, to eat bread in the kingdom of God.

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