Dear members and friends of Briarwood,
This past Sunday we had the privilege of sharing together in the Lord's Supper. It was odd to do so online, but I know that it was meaningful for many of us. In the everyday stuff of bread and wine we entered the mystery of Christ's presence with us. This time, interestingly, we were hosted by Christ and nourished by Him in our own homes. Surrounded by familiar pictures on our walls, in our tidy (or messy!) living room, with a half-read book flopped open nearby, and other browser tabs opened to things of interest to us, Christ came to bless and strengthen us.
I have always been astonished by the story of the shipwreck of Paul and his companions in Acts 27. The ship they are in, with a crew of non-Jewish (and of course non-Christian) sailors and travelers, is in serious trouble. And in the middle of it all, Paul urges them to eat to gain strength. And then the text says: "After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves." In effect, Paul hosts the Lord's Supper there on a boat that is about to be shipwrecked.
In the middle of life, wherever we find ourselves—with our particular struggles and joys—Christ draws near to nourish us. Christ sets up a table in the middle of our lives and says: "Here I am, to nourish and to help and to strengthen. Here I am." This is gospel; good news.
Grace and peace to you, in Christ.
Rev. Dr. Roland J. De Vries