Scripture:

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:26 — Underline added for emphasis.).

Reflection:

“Mom, how many days until Christmas?”

As little boys, my brothers and I used to drive our mom crazy in all sorts of ways. This question about Christmas, however, was the one that could make her craziest. My middle brother and I have December birthdays. Life and all things related to toys, parties, and fun were related to Christmastime and birthdays. So as little boys, long before the dog days of summer would hit, we were asking, “Mom, how many days until Christmas?”

We lived in expectation. We lived with anticipation “until Christmas” in our hearts. This anticipation may have driven our mom crazy at times, but it made the passage of time during the long hot Texas summers a journey to a destination of excitement and joy.

As followers of Jesus, we should live with a similar child-like sense of anticipation for our big “until” — the “until he comes” we remember in The Supper. This “until” is our day of victory, celebration, and reunion that awaits us when Jesus returns in glory (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Our faith in Jesus as Lord will be validated as every knee bows before him and joins our declarations of faith that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11). Everyone will see him coming for those of us who love him (Revelation 1:7).

Paul rooted his confidence, along with a great promise for each of us, in this “until he comes”:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8 — Underline added for emphasis.).

As we take The Lord’s Supper, we don’t just look back at what Jesus did on the cross; we also look forward with anticipation and longing to his coming again. We look beyond bread and wine of the moment as we live with childlike anticipation for our great “until”!

Prayer for the Bread:

Oh Father, our great and glorious God, thank you for the promise of sharing in your glory. We look forward to the day that Jesus returns in that glory. As we take this bread, we not only remember Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, but we also anticipate his return. We pledge to live our lives in expectation for this glorious day. In Jesus’ name, we thank you, praise you, and offer you our future. Amen.

Prayer for the Cup:

Holy God, as we take this cup, this blood of our new covenant with you, we are awestruck at your love for us. We wait in eager expectation for the day when we share in the great celebration that awaits us when Jesus returns. In the mighty name of Jesus, we wait in anticipation for this glorious day. Amen.