Original Posting At http://dscotthagan.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-gospel-in-middle-of-table.html
Over the centuries, the church has given a variety of names to the meal that Jesus instituted as a commandment for those who follow him. We know it as the Lord’s Supper, is breaking bread, the divine liturgy or mass, the service of table, or the sacrament of holy communion. It is known by all these names but none is more ancient than the name Eucharist. It is a Greek word that literally means thanksgiving. This sacrament, passed down directly from Jesus Christ to his followers and referenced throughout the Gospels as the center of worship for Christians, was named early on for the central prayer of thanksgiving, or eucharistia. The Eucharist is and means thanksgiving.
When trying describe what the bible intends for our meals together, James White, noted United Methodist professor of worship, places thanksgiving at the top of the list. He writes, “It is hard to imagine thanksgiving as absent from the joyful action that bubbled over as the Jerusalem church broke bread with glad and generous hearts” (in Acts 2:46). In fact, Jesus lived out this thanksgiving with every meal he shared with his friends and followers. Thanksgiving is at the center of the Gospel.
What we do this week, gathered around tables, is the very stuff of the Gospel. Thanksgiving is the good news. We sit and are thankful. We are nourished by what, for the most part, others have gathered and prepared. We suspend rivalries and enmity and celebrate. We slow down long enough to appreciate what we have and from where we have come. All of this is Thanksgiving and all of this is the life of faith. This is what it means to do life together as Christians.
You are in my prayers this week. Wherever you are, you are loved. You are forgiven. You are blessed and you are called to be a blessing. May these days find thanksgiving at their center. Grace and Peace, Scott